And there are many reasons why we can expect criticism: (C.J. Mahaney)
- A pastor can expect criticism because of his own sin, which will inevitably be present in his heart and service, no matter how mature or well meaning he is (James 3:2).
- A pastor can expect criticism because there are limitations to his gifting, meaning there will always be weaknesses in his leadership.
- A pastor can expect criticism because we often preach below-average sermons. (After one sermon, a guy asked me, “So where do you work during the week?” My sermon apparently gave him the impression that preaching wasn’t my vocation.)
- A pastor can expect criticism because people can be proud and ungrateful.
- A pastor can expect criticism because, well, it is a sinful and fallen world.
Really, I would not think I could go a week with out someone making some comment about what I just did, or how I preached, or comment I made. I don’t like it maybe, but generally they do sometimes have a point.
But we as pastors often forget one more important reason:
- A pastor can expect criticism because it is part of God’s sanctification process—a tool that he uses to reveal idols and accelerate the pastor’s growth in humility.