The meeting ended about a half hour later than scheduled. But that didn’t stop Tom from grabbing Jim in the parking lot. “Hey, what’s with George lately? I don’t want to gossip, but is it just me, or is George against everything the pastor is for?”
Jim knew George well. They went to school together. “Oh, that’s just George. He was like that in seventh grade…and he’s been that way ever since.”
The problem is that George made the meeting go long. Thirty minutes times ten men is 300 people minutes wasted. Worse than that, George continually discourages the pastor and other leaders, especially these elders. Should George be asked to consider some other ministry in the church? Probably so!
Focus on these issues:
- Some people are contrarians by nature. They believe in Jesus and come to church faithfully. However, they’re against what most people are for.
- The contrarian has flawed people skills. It’s not the purpose of the elders to teach George people skills.
- It is within the ministry of the church to pray for George and, through a developed relationship, encourage him to get some counseling.
- It is not a spiritual requirement to tolerate George in meetings.
- Sometimes it’s appropriate and necessary to speak the truth in a spirit of love.
- People should be able to disagree in the church. They should not be allowed to be disagreeable.
- There is not a “fine line” between disagree and disagreeable. It’s most often a no-brainer. Everyone knows. It’s the pink elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
- George needs to know God loves him and so does the church. But the church needs to lovingly help George into another ministry where he won’t de-rail the enthusiasm and excitement of other people.
Your church might have contrary people. Love them and help them find the right spot for them, for you, and for the Kingdom.
How does your church leadership handle contrarians? We welcome your comments below.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.