I had a thought recently about the reality of pastoring a church. It is a reality that can't be denied, but we wish wasn't true. Here it is:
You will either be ignored or judged.
If you aren't growing – you may likely be ignored. It would be nice to be growing and be ignored, but it isn't going to happen.
If you are growing, there will be a segment who will judge you. And the larger you become, the larger segment of the "churched" world will judge you. And different individuals will judge different parts of you, your ministry, and your church. They will judge your growth, your philosophy, your choices, your preaching, your pastoral care, your family, your staff, etc… (pretty much everything). People will make snap judgments about you, have prejudices against you, and hear and share misinformation about you.
This is just the reality of pastoring a growing church – even one that isn't that large. Facing this reality will help stop you from trying to correct every piece of misinformation and defending yourself to everyone who will listen. It's just a reality of life – you will either be ignored or judged.