Few leaders would say that they enjoy criticism. But we are all imperfect and easily learn that critics are certain to point out our imperfections. We have to consider that criticism may contain an element of truth, may be completely inaccurate, or could be entirely accurate and intended to help us, rather than inflict harm. This is why we need to approach most criticism with an open mind and heart.
When we face criticism that is accurate, how should we respond? There are important things to consider, so that we are not adding more fuel to the critical concerns. If we can remember that pastoring and leading is our primary calling, and that people are watching our response, we can see the need for a plan of action regarding the way that we handle criticism. We may need someone to assist us in evaluating the efficacy of the criticism, no matter how simple or complex it may be. This is because we frequently are not as self-aware as we have hoped or assumed. Even if we generally operate from a place of humility, we need to recognize that it is difficult to receive criticism and yet not allow pride to prevent us from admitting our shortcomings.
There is an optimal way to respond to criticism with gratitude when it is valid. In this second video, we present nine precepts for facing criticism when it is accurate. We hope to encourage you that criticism is not always personal attack and can often be more useful than the praise or encouragement that we so gladly receive. When pastors and church leaders can listen and accept criticism, and realize that some criticism may assist in self-improvement, they can set their hearts to be grateful for helpful criticism, and honor God in the process.
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