Being skeptical of the skeptics

Brilliant words from Seth Godin that most church leaders need to remember:

Here’s the thing about proving skeptics wrong: They don’t care. They won’t learn. They will stay skeptics. The ones who said the airplane would never fly ignored the success of the Wright Bros. and went on to become skeptical of something else. And when they got onto an airplane, they didn’t apologize to the engineers on their way in.

I used to have a list, and I kept it in my head, the list of people who rejected, who were skeptical, who stood in the way. What I discovered was that this wasn’t the point of the work, and my goal wasn’t actually to prove these folks wrong, it was only to do the work that was worth doing. So long ago I stopped keeping track. It’s not about the skeptics. It’s about the people who care about, support and enable.

Instead of working so hard to prove the skeptics wrong, it makes a lot more sense to delight the true believers. They deserve it, after all, and they’re the ones that are going to spread the word for you.

Do you need to stop focusing on the skeptics in your church.

Stop trying to prove your point.

They won’t care (or acknowledge it when it turns out you’re right).

Instead, enjoy the work you’ve been called to do… the work that’s ‘worth doing’.

Read more here.



  • Steve Miller July 12, 2013 Reply

    Martin Luther said, “…all of Christianity is repentance.”

    We all know we must repent of sin, what bothers us usually is we must repent of being right. We repent of our own righteousness so we may take on Christs’. God’s moral standards do not change, but we do not get to stand on our own righteousness, but Christs’.

    Skeptics and those overly skeptical of skeptics are both clinging to a perceived personal right and wrong tally system. We must get past insisting I am right, and rather get to I am Christ’s, and therefore anyone else attached to Christ is my brother/sister regardless of their ability to live up to my understanding of the standards.

    It is a covenantal lifestyle not based off of performance.

    Only then can we correct (as we are commanded to do Galatians 6:1) those who are wrong without becoming harsh or judgmental. We follow the example of Paul who called men to repentance not by just pointing out the law (though he did that) but by first pointing out the basis of GRACE found in Christ. Christ is our standard, not the law.

    It is equally wrong to be a harsh critic as well as a silent enabler. Always be calling brothers and sisters to uphold the unity provided by the Gospel of grace. Call people to Christ’s ability to uphold God’s moral law, not your own ability to do so.

    It can be tricky to actually recognize a true skeptic/critic, because sometimes other Christians legitimately see things differently. Critics will be all talk with no fruit, they won’t pitch in, they won’t volunteer, but they will be more than happy to criticize those who do. When you spot one try to love them right, a healthy heart will respond well, a true critic will be repulsed by kindness.

    This loving one another stuff is hard!

  • Jim Wideman July 12, 2013 Reply

    This is a little off subject, but Steve’s comment above made me think of it. Sometimes those we see as critics or skeptics are those who are seeing the issue from the perspective of a different spiritual gift.
    The person with the gift of mercy thinks half the church budget ought to be spent on the poor, while the person with the gift of administration thinks that is ridiculous because there are utilities to pay and a church building to maintain. Satan then takes those different perspectives that come from different spiritual gifts and creates a full blown fight over the budget!
    Sometimes if we just take into account the old “eye and ear” perspective of 1 Corinthians 14, we could create peace and unity more quickly in the church.

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