Thom S. Rainer on What Pastors Should Do If Your Successor is Talking Negatively About You

You weren’t looking for accolades or recognition. But at the very least, you expected your successor at your church to be kind. You certainly did not expect him to generate a culture of negativity about you. 

But he did. You have either retired or moved to another church. You were looking forward to this next season of life. Then you start getting word from friends at your former church that your successor is creating a culture for people to complain about you. The negativity is getting back to you.

To be clear, your successor does not have to say anything directly negative about you. But he has open forums, listening sessions, and surveys. He knows what he is doing. He is creating a gripe session about you.

You are not certain of his motives. You have always honored your predecessors. Is it ignorance? Is it insecurity? Is it malice?

It is a difficult time for you. While you did not expect to be revered, you are shocked at the negativity. How do you respond? Should you respond? What do you do? Here are five suggestions:

  1. Pray and leave it with God. Your pain may tempt you to do something or say something. Give it time. Give it to God. Let Him deal with it. He’s a lot better at it than you are. 
  2. Don’t be defensive. When you get that call or email or text about how your successor is speaking of your ministry at your former church, don’t say negative things about him. Don’t try to deal with the reasons for the negativity. Let it go. You’ve already given it to God. 

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Thom S. Rainer