Most pastors I know are very likable guys. Not to say there aren’t some out there, but most people that go into pastoral ministry are not jerks. In fact, many pastors that step into ministry struggle with the “Please Like Me” disease. They’re in ministry because they love God and love people. They also enjoy being loved back.
Here’s the rub: To pastor is to lead and that means sometimes making decisions that some people won’t like. I use to struggle dramatically with people being upset about the leadership decisions I made. Sleepless nights would ensue, upset stomach and incredibly grumpy.
Unable to focus on further leadership tasks, I was stopped dead in my tracks. As it turned out it was not at all about them not liking my decisions as much as it was my reaction at the idea of someone not liking me. I was taking it personally.
Even if someone hates your decision because they just don’t like you, it’s not personal. It’s their issue. You can’t control someone’s emotions or reactions. You can’t make someone like you. Don’t waste your time trying to get people on the bus that don’t want to go on the trip. Move on.
Bottom line: 10% will be hardcore “You” fans, 10% Will just not like you, and 80% will be “Fine” with you.
When we stop making difficult decisions so that we’ll be adored, we in essence are not serving Jesus any more….we’re serving ourselves.