Soul Winning - When you really believe that salvation is an act of God to turn their heart to Him and make them "born again" then you will not have as many converts to show for your ministry as the IFB will claim to have (and thus claim this as authentication of God's blessing). Their simplistic and erroneous idea that someone can actually convince a person to be born again by techniques of persuasion results in many false professions. When a IFB looks at our soul winning numbers, he will shake his head in disgust that we did not have more. I once heard an IFB mega-church pastor in Southern California criticize another well-known Calvinist mega-church nearby, who only had claimed 250 baptisms that year...as if that was proof that they were inferior. What they don't consider is that those 250 who were baptized were all solidly converted people and not a bunch of bus kids that prayed a "poly-wannna-a-cracker" prayer in order to win a goldfish. I recently took fire from someone who left our church and pointed to my lack of "soul winning" as proof that I didn't have any authority to lead him as a pastor. Ok, fine. I am inferior....I'll own that.
Standards - I ran into some guys from my old college at the newly opened Chick-fil-A and I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt while they were, like usual, dressed to the 9's in the latest New York fashioned suits. My wife was wearing pants too....shudder! Yes, I looked like a rag-a-muffin who wasn't trying to project any kind of pastoral image to anyone. They were kind to me...but I know what they were thinking...because I had been taught to think the same way: "tisk tisk tisk, look at what happens to you when you leave the IFB! You let yourself go." If you walk into our church on any given Sunday, you will only find four or five of the men wearing suits. Yes, we're inferior.
Pastor as King - When my IFB friends find out that we've gone to a plurality of elders and that I am no longer the top dog who calls all the shots and has every other person on staff serving my wishes, they see it as weakness. "What? You share leadership with someone else as your equal? Who's got the final word? Where does the buck stop? Well, well, you couldn't handle those few sheep all by yourself, eh?" Nope, I'm not dynamic enough. I'm not gifted enough, I'm not strong enough. I need a pastor too. So, I admit it, I'm weak, I need to be under authority too.
I'll have to be content with the fact that in the eyes of those whose esteem I once craved, I will be considered weak, inferior and insignificant. This is good for me because if any good thing comes of my ministry, the only one I can thank is God. The only "atta-boy" that I'll crave from now on is Christ's. I'm free being weak and inferior.