How do you handle church members who oppose you and the direction in which God wants to take your ministry?

For instance, suppose that God has given you instructions to begin a particular outreach, but your congregation isn't behind you. Instead of being a support, they become a hindrance. They murmur and complain.

Some may even go so far as to conduct meetings in their homes or in the church parking lot to discredit you, ultimately causing division in the church.

Remember Your Purpose
Regardless of the circumstances, "flack from the flock" can be discouraging and hard on your flesh. However, as the shepherd of your fold, it is your responsibility to respond in love and with compassion to those in your congregation.

The first thing you must do to effectively deal with the opposition is to find the "pause" button. Stepping back for a moment allows you the opportunity to contemplate a godly response. Exhibiting the fruit of meekness in the midst of slander, false accusations and persecution will prevent you from becoming easily offended.

The last thing that you want to do is to follow the dictates of your flesh and return evil for evil (1 Peter 3:9 AMP). Neither do you want to be a poor witness for Christ or a bad example to your members. When you remain in the spirit, God will intervene on your behalf, and you will eventually be lifted out of your negative circumstances (Ps. 147:6).

Keep The Vision Before Them
Habakkuk 2:2 says, "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." When sharing a vision with your congregation, be sure that it is effectively communicated. Present the vision in a way that your congregation can embrace and take ownership of it.

They must understand that even though God spoke the vision to you, it's not for you alone. Share scriptures with them that show how they will be blessed when they support what God has called you to do.

There's a cliche that says, "Don't ever let them see you sweat." In essence, don't worry if people don't immediately support you. Your job is to remain confident that you have heard from God and that you will find ways to pique the interest of your members.

Sometimes people become inspired when they hear the testimony of others who have successfully accomplished what you're trying to do. Invite other ministers with similar visions to share their accomplishments with your members. Their testimonies can ignite enthusiasm in the hearts of members who are bent on murmuring and complaining.

God's Vision Flows Downhill
Above all, maintain your excitement about what God has told you to do. Don't lose your enthusiasm in the midst of opposition! Let your members see that you are enthusiastically committed to the work of the Lord.

Remember, the vision comes from God to His man or woman of God first, and then it flows down to the congregation. It may take time for your people to grab hold of and run with your vision; however, if you remain faithful and excited, it will eventually come to pass!

Source: Changing Your World Magazine by Creflo Dollar
Excerpt permission granted by Creflo Dollar Ministries