Summary: A pastor wrote:HOW DO I HANDLE COMPLAINTS ADDRESS TO ME... I respond.

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I WAS ASKED: I’ve heard it said that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I hope this will not be considered as a stupid question, but it’s really meant as a sincere question:

If a leader in your church came to you saying they want longer services and longer and more altar calls, what would your response be?

I had a couple of people come to me today with some complaints, one being that I’m not perceptive or sensitive about their needs (they pretty much expect me to figure their needs out without giving me much information) and another that my sermons and services are too rushed and not long enough... PASTOR’S NAME WITHHELD...

My rambling response: I listen to any and all comments that come my way. I ponder them and weigh them. I do try to limit my exposure to negativism, but I do listen. WHAT DOES THE WORD SAY:

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; [11] Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; [12] Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1 Cor. 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1 Cor. 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. [9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Luke 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Col. 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; [13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ephes. 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

1. The first thing I do is: I WEIGH WHO IT IS THAT MAKES THE POINT, COMMENT OR COMPLAINT. I have some negative people, that I listen to, but I do not put much faith in a lot of what they say. I listen respectfully. There are others I weigh heavily everything they say. Not every comment is valid or real, we as leaders must learn how to sift through problems.

2. My Dad taught me a valuable lesson about questions: He learned from Jesus a good point, ANSWER WITH A QUESTION? They asked Jesus a question... Jesus replied: WHAT DO YOU think of JOHN THE BAPTIST ---? When they refused to answer him, he refused to answer them. Often to answer a question with a question is wisdom. Many times I am asked a question and I reply: WHAT DO YOU THINK...? They answer and I never have to answer the question.

3. Conflict is neither good nor bad, it is what we do with conflict. Allow anyone to say whatever they need to say. I remember once a man being very mad at me, his daughter’s husband was found cheating the night before at a bar. I had nothing to do with it, nor did I know the young man was being unfaithful. My church member took his anger out on me, he told me off. It had nothing to do about me, just the man needed to vent somewhere, and as a friend I was the vent. The father was killed for his daughter and he could not get to the son in law. (good thing) I started to respond, and I felt my heart say: just let him blow up and love him anyway. No, the dear friend never apologized to me. He didn’t have to, I knew his heart, his pain and his disappointments for his daughter and the grandchildren. As a friend I could be man enough to listen and weather the attack.

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