Apparently not everyone likes me. The other day our congregational president was calling members of our church, following up on our recent stewardship effort. One call put him in contact with someone who hadn’t been to church in quite some time. When our president inquired “why,” the response was: “I was a Pastor (“so and so”) fan; not much of a Pastor Eggebrecht fan.”
I guess there are worse reasons not to attend a church. It just sort of felt so “personal” when this information was relayed to me. OK, I’ll admit it, I was hurt. I know I shouldn’t have been. And I know that, as a leader, not everyone will like me. But that doesn’t take away the fact that I’m a human being who has feelings.
As a “pastor type” I want everyone to be happy. I feel a certain burden and responsibility if someone doesn’t like “church” because they don’t like me.
But this isn’t the first time. And it won’t be the last. We live in a fallen world filled with people and personalities, some that get along and others that don’t. Sometimes personal preferences are just that: preferences.
What I’m trying to teach myself is that it’s OK if (surprise!) not everyone likes me. It’s perfectly fine if someone finds a place or a preacher with whom they can better connect.
It isn’t easy for me, because like everyone else I want to be loved. But people in public, visible positions of leadership will not always be liked. The other day I read a tweet by Andy Andrews that said, “If you need everyone to be happy, you should be a wedding planner not a leader.”
I don’t want to be a wedding planner (that’s another story for another day). So I better get used to everyone not being happy. Not that I won’t try to make that happen. I just won’t expect it to happen.
So don’t be surprised when not everyone likes you. Especially when you’re out in front doing uncomfortable things, blazing trails, making well-thought-out changes, or simply being you.
What’s your response when you discover someone doesn’t like you?