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3 Nasty Habits of Really Nice Church People

Well, though it seems so, one business man shared with his small group the issues he was having with his company during their prayer time. Someone else in the group used the information to leverage a buyout of that company as part of a silent partnership he was involved in elsewhere.  

It was despicable behavior, but this gentleman had it all compartmentalized in a way that benefited him … and only him. 

Gossip and heartfelt disclosure can turn into disaster.

3. People often feel like their only role is to evaluate and criticize. 

I have talked to hundreds of folks in churches in which I had no active part.

I was a guest, an advisor, a helper … their first words to me were to complain about the things they disliked about their church or it’ leaders. Most of these folks do so as if their only value to the church is to correct its wrongs. 

Frankly, my first reaction to these people is embarrassment. Why are they telling me these things? I’m a stranger, a person they have yet to know, but they are giving me details that they should only give to a trusted friend who is a stakeholder in their institution. 

There is a kind of culture among the “in house” church critics. They operate primarily by stealth. They find out information through various means, and make sure it is dispersed in the worst possible ways.

They are lethal. They are toxic, and any of us could be guilty of their sins at any point in time. 

While evaluation and criticism have a place in any organization, we, its members, are not called to make that our exclusive gift to the community. Forward progress is made by people who do lots of work and occasionally evaluate … not the other way around.

Is it possible for Christians to be nasty and behave badly? Oh, yes. That’s why Jesus died for us! Be of good cheer!  

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Doug Lawrence is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, who helps churches assess and improve their skillfulness in creating engaging worship experiences. In 2007 he founded and continues to serve as CEO of Speaking as a Performing Art, a firm which coaches leading executives and their teams and includes pastors from across the country. Doug co-authored GPS for Success, published in 2011, with Stephen Covey and others. You may reach him at dlawrenceconsult@mac.com.