Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Check out www.nomoregoats.com to see the exciting plans of a young Highland couple! - - - - Good words from Wade Hodges, this year's director of the Tulsa Workshop, in response to some criticism that's been raised about this year's program. I'm looking forward to doing a keynote and joining my amigo Randy Harris in a class called "Totally Outrageous Stories for a Troubled World." - - - - One thing I heard Bob Russell say recently that really resonated with me is that church leaders face the constant temptation to spend 50% of their time on the criticisms of 5% of the members. That can suck the energy out of any leadership team! People who criticize need to be heard. But the amount of criticism and the variety of criticism and the pettiness of some of the criticism -- well, after a while it wears people out. Last night's elders' meeting reminded me again of how thankful I am to be part of a leadership team that knows what the kingdom of God is about. Prayers for a mission team, prayers for a young man who's life has dramatically changed, prayers for a beloved woman whose service has blessed many, prayers for a teenager who wants a family, prayers for a visiting eldership, prayers for struggling marriages, prayers for the hungry, the hurting, and the lost, prayers of thanks.

21 Comments:

  • Amen

    By Blogger Jim, at 2/16/2006 05:25:00 AM  

  • I was blessed and overwhelmed to be able to not only sit in, but also be a part of the prayers that took place last night. I hope you received the email I sent you last night. Blessings,
    dps

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 2/16/2006 05:54:00 AM  

  • I think it's true in every organization/ arena to be tempted to try to appease the (usually very vocal) complainers. I try to live by the philosophy my late, precious grandmother had: "If only one of us can be happy, it may as well be me!" :-) That's generally the only person you can be sure is happy!

    By Blogger Sarah, at 2/16/2006 06:35:00 AM  

  • Sarah - That belongs in the Grandma Sayings Hall of Fame.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/16/2006 06:41:00 AM  

  • By the way, does anyone else ever get your comments rejected because you can't figure out what the magical letters are that you have to type?

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/16/2006 06:42:00 AM  

  • XZfffwwodiskkl..........

    By Blogger Coping, at 2/16/2006 07:04:00 AM  

  • Pardon the Teen-generated vocabulary but my read on your comment is "Dealing with church criticism sucks."

    By Blogger eddy, at 2/16/2006 07:04:00 AM  

  • Eddy - That would have been shorter. Actually, maybe this: "dealing with church criticism is important, but it can suck the joy out of you if you're not careful."

    All right, Mom. So maybe this is a genetic defect I inherited from you. We're missing that DNA strand lets a person decifer weird letters crammed together.

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/16/2006 07:13:00 AM  

  • Why does the "q" often looks like a "g"
    and sometimes a "p."
    I'm not sure if it is an "x"
    or a "y" or maybe even a "z."
    Then of course there is the "l" that looks a whole lot like an "i."
    What is a blogger to do?
    My of my!

    By Blogger David Michael, at 2/16/2006 07:26:00 AM  

  • “People who criticize need to be heard.”

    Some, maybe even most, but certainly not all. For some chronic critics, the last thing needed is an empowering, listening ear.

    By Blogger James, at 2/16/2006 07:33:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the link to Wade's post.
    AMAZING!

    DU

    By Blogger David U, at 2/16/2006 09:31:00 AM  

  • The funny thing is...most critics are never challenged! It is always the critic's target that is "causing disharmony" or "not abiding by God's Word" and never the critic!
    I also have a problem with elders hearing criticism and acting upon it...shouldn't they first tell the critic to approach the person who offended them instead of going to the eldership first? Any thoughts on this?

    By Blogger Franklin Wood, at 2/16/2006 09:32:00 AM  

  • Mike, maybe if you and Randy change the title of you class to “Totally Outrages Evangelism Stories for a Troubled World” it might help promote unity at the workshop

    By Blogger Clint, at 2/16/2006 11:54:00 AM  

  • Amen, Franklin!

    The best response to a criticism or complaint about some other person is to ask: "And what did he/she say when you talked to him/her about it?"

    Among a flock's greatest needs is non-anxious leadership. Criticism often flows from, or takes the form of some kind of anxiety. Elders must constantly be on guard not to respond to anxiousness out of anxiousness.

    By Blogger Jamie B, at 2/16/2006 11:56:00 AM  

  • Franklin: bingo!

    By Blogger Mike, at 2/16/2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • Yes, everyone deserves to be heard, but a true leader's test comes with knowing how to quiet the critics before damage is done. And recognizing when the complainers are just seeking attention.
    I think sometimes the non-critics are at fault because we don't express our delight and encouragment over the things and people we really appreciate and enjoy. Many times the only comments church leadership hears is when someone DOESN'T like something. And that's too bad and sad.
    Sarah, that saying of your grandmother's is priceless!
    Yep Mike, sometimes you have to squint your eyes to determine what the magical letters are! Or, hold your mouth just right while typing.
    And does anyone else everything. Good grief, how many letters do I have to decifer! yxlpbgvy......

    By Blogger Snapshot, at 2/16/2006 12:55:00 PM  

  • I've been secretly thinking I was the only person in the world who gets the "word verification" letters wrong. This is such a huge relief you guys. Seriously.

    I think Wade has done a fabulous job of articulating truth in this situation.

    By Blogger Arlene Kasselman, at 2/16/2006 01:42:00 PM  

  • Exactly! I mean about the word verification. I would post more often if I could get the letters right!

    I appreciate Highland's spiritual direction and leadership. I have many good memories of past years associated with them because of the work in Brazil.

    By Blogger Paul, at 2/16/2006 03:42:00 PM  

  • from Momma Cope:
    "XZfffwwodiskkl.........."
    Wow - is that cryptic or what? Dan Brown's got nothing on you.
    ;-)

    By Blogger KentF, at 2/16/2006 05:04:00 PM  

  • I grew up not knowing what went on at elders' meetings but I figured it had to be pretty bad because my dad (a youth minister) always came home from them so stressed out.

    Here's a memory: when I was about ten, my family visited the Houston Zoo. We were in the primate house watching a group of... well, some kind of primates. They were sitting in a circle staring and frowning at each other. Every once in a while, the one that seemed to be the leader banged his knuckles on the concrete floor.

    "Looks like elders' meeting," my mom said.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 2/16/2006 06:02:00 PM  

  • I forget where I heard this, but it is true. When people like something or are happy about something, they go to their preacher. When people are upset or dislike something, they go to the elders. This wears on elderships and paralyzes them into keeping peace rather than seeking the road of faith that leads to Christ. I would not like to be an elder.

    By Blogger Brad, at 2/16/2006 08:33:00 PM  

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