"Ministry would be a lot easier if it weren't for people!"
Have you ever heard that remark before? In some ways, the statement is very true. Hurt people hurt people. That is just a fact of life. But God doesn't let us off the hook so easily. The Great Commandment requires other people to make it work. We are to love God, and we are to love our neighbor.
As with all fields that deal with people, the criticism will come. For every every 20 encouragements a pastor gets, it is the 1 biting criticism or remark that sticks. That is unfortunate, but it is true. The challenge is to respond in a loving way, but to refuse to allow the person to continue in a destructive behavior.
Monday Morning Insights has a series of articles that offer some insight into this issue:
When Can the Pastor Fight Back? Pt. 1
When Can the Pastor Fight Back? Pt. 2