"But the critics are not just internal; growth attracts a growing number of external critics.
Our generation seems to specialize in encouraging leaders and organizations to grow and then criticizing them when they do. And before you accuse others, there's a 99% chance you've thought or said something negative about a large church pastor you resent. Growth attracts critics. It just always does." -- Carey Nieuwhof
Growth at the expense of the Gospel is in need of rebuke, according to the Bible. This is the point that Nieuwhof does not understand. Growth does not attract criticism, compromise does. I have never heard anyone criticize a church for growing. I have heard plenty of righteous criticisms for churches that sanitize the Gospel in order to grow. Churches that refuse to discuss sin and repentance anymore. Churches the remove all crosses so as to not offend the unsaved. Churches that think pastoral care should be outsourced to the sheep. Growing your individual fiefdom does not count as growing the kingdom Carey. It never does. Thankfully, he concludes:
"So how do you process the criticism when you're the one being criticized? The best way to process what your critics have to say is to understand why they say it. First, take whatever good there might in what they said and reflect on it. You're not perfect. You can learn and develop from it. But then process why the critics are often so mean-spirited. What usually fuels a critics' animosity toward success and growth? Three things: jealousy, a need to justify their own lack of progress, sin. Once you understand that a critic's arguments are often less about you than they are about them, you're free to show compassion and even concern for them." -- Carey Nieuwhof
Yes, criticism is always so mean spirited! No it is not. The problem is that people do not take constructive criticism as constructive and "leadership experts" like Nieuwhof teach more leaders to be just as sensitive. The flawed foundation is still here though as Nieuwhof has already concluded that every time someone criticizes it must be due to animosity toward success and growth. How transparently ludicrous. I have been at this awhile now and literally do not know one person who holds animosity towards true success and growth. Nieuwhof seeks however to make all criticism the enemy of the purpose driven pastor. So his parting vicious attack is that they are all reprobates. If you dare criticize your vision casting, purpose driven, cult leader than you must be a jealous sinner seeking to justify your own lack of progress. How utterly disgusting.
We see here however the goal of all of this. The goal is to deflect criticism back to the one pointing out what is wrong. The problem must be them. It's not about you! It is not about the fact that you now play secular songs during corporate worship! It is not about the fact that all your sermonettes are now self-help and motivational, instead of you know, Scriptural. It is not about the fact that you have people who are still goats or baby Christians leading your small groups or doing hospital visits. Nope. It is just sinful jealousy. Right Carey. The sad truth is that this article may as well be entitled, Seven Challenges a Hireling Faces When Moving the Church Away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
At least then it would have been honest.