If you have seven or eight "joy suckers" in a small- to medium-size congregation, it can cause the fellowship to become dysfunctional as well. So, how do you deal with the "tough stuff" that can make the strongest pastor flinch?
a) You attempt to understand what is the cause of the negative spirit — why do they act the way they do?
b) You consider their family situation.
c) You gauge their level of spirituality.
d) You monitor their influence in your church (Is there a big family connection?).
e) Have you done all you can to talk through the concern with that person?
f) Do you pray for them?
g) Do they have a history of this kind of behavior?
h) What will it cost you to "confront" them?
i) Does leadership understand your challenge?
j) Is the contention severe enough that it renders your ministry ineffective?
[H. B. London]