If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. (Matthew 10.14, NLT)
Listen carefully – some people just don’t care for you or your message. It’s time to get over your own ego and realize that. Not everyone cares about your great revelations, not everyone cares about your amazing teaching gift, not everyone cares about your wisdom and your insights.
One trait I see in many pastors that is costing them valuable time, rest and ministry opportunities is an inability to let things or people go.
Jesus on the other hand told his apostles, his sent-ones, that if people didn’t listen, shake the dust off your feet and move on to someone who will. Stop fishing in tiny ponds and move on. I know pastors who are in bits because a certain church or certain Bible College won’t let them preach – you know what, I never care about things like that, I just keep on doing what God called me to, and I have more than enough places to preach I can tell you.
It also happens with people in our church. It’s never nice when someone leaves, especially as most Christians do not have a clue how to leave a church well and with integrity. You want to go and get them back, and you know I have no problems with people doing that – I have done that. But there comes a point where it is obvious people just don’t care. So shake the dust off your feet and celebrate the people who do care.
I’ve seen pastors get up and angrily preach to the people that are not there on a Sunday! No, shake the dust off your feet and preach love and grace and the Word to the people who did come. And the people who are there need to be discipled!
Learn to shake the dust off your feet – learn to let people go. Not everyone can be your best friend, not everyone will benefit from your church and your ministry. Just get over yourself, and work in the sphere God has given you!
Remember if a sheep is lost, and sheep get lost because they are distracted, go and find that sheep and bring him home. Be the good shepherd.
If a coin is lost, and coins get lost because people lose them and other people’s actions cause them to be lost, go and turn the house upside down and bring that coin back into the collection. Be the good housewife.
But if a son is lost, and sons get lost because they feel that you are holding them back from their inheritance and they would be better off without you and better off if you were dead, and why don’t I get the pulpit now and why don’t I get chances now, and why are you so horrible – then leave him be. Until they come to their senses and come home, you will only make things worse. So shake the dust off your feet, feed the calf, and run your house with the servants and sons that are still at home.