Ministry Reflection Eight

Christian leaders need to learn to take a compliment.  Early on I picked up on the assumption that pastors are supposed to reject all compliments.  If someone tells you they enjoyed your sermon/Bible study/article, quickly reject the compliment and give the glory to God.  I understand the principles behind this and we should give glory to God but there are some problems.  We tell our congregations that they are supposed to use their words to build up people, since that is what the Bible tells us to do.  What message are we sending when we reject a compliment?  Perhaps we are saying that God wants us to give encouragement but not receive it.  Is that logical?  Or perhaps we are saying that pastors are in a different class from other people and are the one group of people that should not receive a compliment.  Also nonsense.  Receive the compliment!  Of course it has to be done in humility and we should not become overconfident or prideful.  But let people encourage you.  And the next time you see a pastor respond to a compliment by saying “It wasn’t me, it was all the Lord”, make sure to remind them if it was all the Lord, it would have been done a lot better!

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