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Churches Are Not Christian Cruise Ships

But Jesus never demonstrated or communicated that his Kingdom purpose for the local church was to be surrendered to any single individual’s desires. Keep the larger mission in mind. Do you feel the tension? Every person matters, right? But if you remain true to your mission, you will reach and serve more people.

2. Know What God Has Called You To Do and Don’t Back Down.

Your church can’t do everything, so do what you do well. Keep your list of ministries lean. Stick to the main thing—stick to what God has called you to do.

Be strategic. Use resources wisely. Listen carefully to the prompts of the Holy Spirit. I’m convinced that God won’t give you more to do than you have time to do it. So, if you have too much to do, maybe you are doing something God doesn’t need you to do.

Pray till you know what God wants. God is not the author of confusion and division.

If there is disagreement among the leaders, keep praying and practice mutual voluntary submission. When you agree and are aligned in God’s purpose and plan for ministry, be bold. Don’t back down.

I love the story in the book of Nehemiah when Sanballat and Geshem sent Nehemiah a message trying to get him to meet with them. Nehemiah responded that he was carrying on a great project and could not meet! He asked, “Why should the work stop and I go down to you?” They pressured him for a meeting four times, and each time Nehemiah did not back down. He would not be hijacked by someone else’s agenda (Nehemiah 6:1-4).

3. Get Comfortable With the Idea That the Kingdom of God Is Bigger Than Your Church.

I used to take it personally when anyone left the church I love and serve. It still gets to me at times, but I’ve come to realize that the Kingdom of God is much bigger than my church.

The message of Jesus Christ is for everyone, but your church isn’t everyone’s preference, and that’s OK. Your doors are open to everyone, of course. All are welcome, but one church can’t meet the vast and varied array of needs within the body of Christ.

It’s natural to be disappointed if someone who has been with you for a long time leaves your church or if someone visits your church for a while and doesn’t stay. Don’t take it personally.

In the same way that you on occasion must say no to someone, they also can say no to you.

If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up with a much smaller congregation than you will if you know who you are, know what you are called to do, and do that well.

You can love and serve anyone, but you can’t please everyone. If a family leaves your church, love them well on the way out and let them know they are always welcome to return.

People want confident leadership in a church that knows where it’s headed. Even if they don’t entirely agree with you.

If you’re like me, you want to meet every need you can. And you’d like to accommodate requests. But there are times you need to say no to some requests, preferences, and demands. As a result, a few people may leave, but hold true to the vision God has put before you, and stay steady on the course.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.