Summary: If you have been in the ministry for any length of time, you have encountered strong opinions. Some opinions simply carry more weight than others.
People have strong opinions in ministry. If you have been in the ministry for any length of time, you have encountered strong opinions. Some opinions are expressed graciously. Some opinions are expressed rather forcefully. I do not count opinions. I weigh opinions. Let me say that again. I do not count opinions. I weigh opinions.
Some opinions simply carry more weight than others. What items carry more weight with me as someone shares their opinions? I consider their character. I consider their godliness. I factor in how much skin they have in this game or how involved they are. I consider their history and track record. I contemplate their approach and demeanor as they share their opinions.
Years ago, I was approached by a very new couple at the church. They had been attending our church for less than a month. One day, the husband asked me if we could have a meeting. He and his wife forcefully told me we should completely dismantle our current Wednesday program and replace it with the system and curriculum their previous church had been using. He was forceful. He wanted us to make this change quickly and had much to say about what we had been doing for the last 15 years. Keep in mind that he had observed our Wednesday for a grand total of 4 times.
We get a lot of opinions thrown our way in ministry. We have to weigh those opinions. Needless to say, I did not implement the opinion of this new and forceful couple. Simply put, their opinion, while valid, was not weighty enough to make a major ministry decision. As a side note, less than 6-months later, they changed churches, presumably to be as forceful at the next church as they had been at our church. I chose to weigh opinions. I do not simply count them.