Cradling Critics


I don’t know everything about everything—honestly, I don’t even want to. That would make me a “know it all.”

Everyone knows how enjoyable those people are to be around.

However, one area I do feel like I’m getting pretty good at is handling critics. Once again, I learned at the school of hard knocks rather than some secret class at seminary. I mean, when it comes to critics, there’s no written class that can quite prepare you for real life. These people are like a virus in that the moment you think you found the cure for their particular brand of disease (sickness, plague, whatever)—they morph and you’re scrambling again to put out fires.

No, when it comes to critics in the church (the Bible calls them “wolves”) I’ve seen leaders and pastors try to deal with them from “pleasing all critics” to “ignoring all critics.” Both extremes can hamstring a church and freeze the vision in its tracks. Neither of these extremes is right. You can’t simply blow off all criticism and yet, you can’t let every critic take you ‘off vision’ or off the course the Lord has called you to.

So what’s the answer?

Well, it has a lot to do with the phrase “Constructive Criticism.” Though very little criticism offered up as “constructive” actually is, we don’t need to through the baby out with the bath water.

So how do you know which is which?

How do you know when to pull the plug and drain the water and the Siskel and Eberts right along with it?

And how do you determine a valuable criticism that might just add unity and advance the kingdom of God at your church?

It’s not that hard.

I’ll tell you tomorrow.

I have to go—someone wants to talk to me about all the time I waste on my STUPID”  blog!