We make a major mistake in the church when we simply assume that loud dissenting voices reflect the will of the congregation. Often they don't. In fact, in many cases, they reflect the voices of themselves and a few friend but not the congregation at large. It may seem like they do because of the noise but be very careful in your assumptions. Often it is just noise.

I have worked in a significant number of situations where churches were in crisis. That crisis was sometimes caused by the pastor or congregants. What I have learned is that what is presented at the outset is often not what I discover upon due diligence. And that the analysis given to me by strong figures in the church (pastor or lay) is often not representative of the church at large.

I am not discounting the perspective of those loud voices. Often, their perspective makes sense even when it does not reflect the will of the majority. What I am saying is that one needs to be careful not to make assumptions as to the legitimacy of the claims until one has done due diligence and can substantiate claims one way or another. That is why I think "grey" in conflictual situations until I have run my process. Grey thinking means that I am listening and observing without drawing concrete solutions until I have all the facts, not some of the facts.

One needs to listen carefully to both loud and quiet voices in any conflict situation. Often the quite voices are more prescient and accurate that the loud voices who get the most attention. What it appears on the surface is not always what is true in the end. 

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.

  • Jan 14, 2015
  • Category: News
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