Pastor, as you and your pioneers love and care for the unchurched in ways that bless their lives, those you serve will be skeptical, initially. They’ll be wary that church people would actually serve without a hidden agenda, a “gotcha,” a hook.

As you continue to be with them for their benefit, and not for yours, their skepticism will be replaced with gratitude.

When those you serve express their appreciation, communicate this broadly through the congregation. Your belongers will be listening!

Raise the visibility of your pioneers.

Make them your congregation’s “heroes” and make a big deal of their willingness to risk, innovate, and lead change especially when a new attempt fails. Celebrate that too.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at

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