Thom S. Rainer: Seven Things Church Leaders Should Consider if They Receive an Anonymous Letter

On occasion a church leader at Church Answers will share with the community that he or she received an anonymous letter. The leaders are inevitably hurt, and they are frustrated because they have no way to respond.

Over the years, I have seen a common theme with anonymous letters. I can best delineate it as seven considerations.

  • Most all church leaders will eventually receive an anonymous letter. It goes with the job and the ministry role. Even though it does not take away the sting of the letter, knowing others have gone through it makes it more bearable.
  • The typical content of an anonymous letter reflects a hurt or mad church member who has unmet and/or unrealistic expectations. Some church members have weird ideas about what church should be like and how church leaders should act. The cowardly church members will express their frustrations anonymously.
  • The toss-it principle is still good counsel. It has been common for church leaders to dispose of anonymous letters as soon as possible. Some pastors and leaders have an assistant who reads letters that come to the office. That assistant may be instructed to dispose of anonymous letters before the church leader ever sees it.
  • The best way church leaders handle anonymous letters is to pray for their own hearts. These evil letters can be an incredible source of distraction and discouragement. The pastor or other church leader must pray for his or her own heart. God can certainly handle the situations we think are nearly impossible to handle, such as dealing with the pain of these letters.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Thom S. Rainer