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Christian Leaders & Their Critics

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Some things every Christian leader knows (or quickly learns) about their critics...

To the critic, it doesn't matter how much the leader genuinely loves Jesus or how full of the Spirit's presence he is.

It doesn't matter how personally devoted he is to his wife.

It doesn't matter how good his children turn out or how faithful he is as a parent.

It doesn't matter how personally devoted to the pursuit of internal purity and external submission to God's moral standards he is.

It doesn't matter how much he loves and serves others. All of these things matter to, and are appreciated by, Spirit-filled Christians, but not to the carnal critic. The significance of these attributes are explained in the pastoral epistles and are among God's standards for a pastor, however, the carnal critic's standards are often higher than even God's standards.

In spite of relative success in the above areas, a carnal critic will always find reasons why that Christian leader isn't good enough as far as they're concerned. They will find ways to make the leader feel in-adequate, inept and extraordinarily subpar.

Succeed at what God calls you to accomplish and do it for all the right reasons. But remember that your success will further aggravate your critics. While aggravating your critics is debatably a wrong reason to pursue success, it's a nice bonus.

Yet, the Christian leader is called to love that critic no matter how hostile the criticism becomes. Jesus' example and instruction is to love those who hate you.

Critics will always be there. Different ones come and go, but Christian leader, keep pursuing a Christ-honoring disposition because while it may not matter to the carnal critic, your disposition does matter to God.

Leaders with tenure realize that unfounded criticism is part of the liability of leadership. It’s par for the course.

Leadership is not easy but Christian leadership is all about pleasing Christ. If He is pleased, that's really all that matters. Rejoice in His love for you, and rejoice in His patience with you!


The above article was written by James C. Johnson. He is the Pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola. To offer him your feedback, find him on twitter, @JamesJohnsonSFL or email him at


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