“Criticism from one of my deacons ‘You love people to [sic] much, especially those with different colored skin!’”
“My wife was giving him lustful thoughts.”
Criticisms…about doing your job?
“You talk about Jesus too much. When are you going to talk about other subjects.”
“Once I was knocked for the amount of sermon prep time I put in (as in too much), said that I should know the Word better and not need as long to prep.”
A couple left our church a few years ago because: “This gospel thing you talk about every week. Look, we get it. Can you move on to something else?”
— Ronnie Martin (@ronniejmartin) December 20, 2018
“Why are you teaching so much Bible to our youth? They’ll never want to invite their friends.”
“While being considered by a search committee, ‘we did a poll, and our people wants a guy with kids and aged mid to late 40s, so that makes you unqualified.’ My response was, ‘Christ is also unqualified under those unbiblical requirements’”
“I know a youth pastor who was actually fired (in the most unprofessional manor [sic] possible) because he had too many “bad” kids in his fast growing youth group that it was making the ‘good families’ of the church too uncomfortable for their kids to attend.”
“Your teaching is too deep. Our people are used to more shallow teaching.”
“You preach to us like we’re broken people! We’re not broken!”
“We like your Sunday AM sermons but your Sunday PM sermons are terrible.”
After one evening service, around 10 yrs ago, I got this from 4 different members: You were a little too loud. I couldn’t hear you too well tonight. That was a lot of Bible verses in that sermon tonight. And, I wished you would have had more Scripture references in your message.
— Shane Clements (@Shane_Clements) December 19, 2018
Petty and/or misinformed
“My shirt wasn’t buttoned properly.”
“I’m a minimalist because I don’t like clutter and I wear to [sic] much plaid.”
“‘Your dress your children too well.’ My wife made their clothes.”
“Someone brought up at a business meeting: I wore the wrong color sweater to the hospital to visit a patient.”
“I don’t care too much for the new pulpit you used.”
“One couple visited a nearby church with a friend, where apparently the pastor blew kisses to the congregation. When they saw that, they told me ‘we realized you didn’t really love our congregation as much as a pastor should’ because I didn’t blow kisses. So they left.”
“A family left the church because they said they didn’t like the way I sat. They said I leaned slightly to one side when I sat. (Might have been because of my sciatica nerve problem.)”
If you’re a pastor who has been dealing with criticism recently, we hope you take comfort from the fact that God uses suffering to refine us and draw us closer to Himself. And we hope it encourages you to remember that your fellow pastors are going through the same struggles you are!