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Adam Weber: How to Love Difficult People (for Pastors)


Adam Weber is the founder and lead pastor of Embrace, a multisite church based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that was named by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in the U.S. He also hosts a podcast called The Conversation and has written two books, including his latest, entitled, Love Has a Name: Learning to Love the Different, the Difficult, and Everyone Else. Adam is married to Becky and they have four children.

Key Questions for Adam Weber

-For pastors and ministry leaders, what is the relationship between leading and loving?

-What is the danger of loving generally versus loving specifically?

-How as pastors do we love difficult people?

-How is loving others related to making disciples?

Key Quotes from Adam Weber

“I look back and I was so passionate about Jesus and telling people about Jesus and seeing Jesus transform lives, that often times I haven’t in the past done the best job at caring for those around me.”

“A critical part of that leadership is loving the people around you, and not treating them like robots or machines but like humans with souls who need to be cared for.”

“We’re able to dehumanize people when we don’t put a name on them. The cashier that’s slow to get your food, the driver in front of you that’s keeping your from your job, the frustrating coworker…any time we don’t see them as a human with a name, with a story, with a family, we begin to treat them differently.”

“As leaders, we should know the stories of our staffs better than anyone…that takes intentional discipline.”

“Anytime you generalize people, you begin to dehumanize them.” 

“For me personally, there’s nobody harder to love than the Pharisee Christian.”

“I have to be poured into by God and others [in order to love difficult people].”

“There are certain people who are toxic people.”

“Early on as a pastor I think I was guilty of trying to make everyone like me. I would hold on to people way longer than I should have, instead of blessing them and saying, ‘Hey I think this other church might be a better fit.’”

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye