To assess the words of a critic, you may need to read between the quotes:

1. "I don't know." This person criticizes because of insufficient information. What he may really be saying is, "I want to know more before offering my support." He needs time to ask questions and needs to receive honest answers.

2. "I don't understand." This may mean "I like things the way they are and don't understand why they must change." This person needs to be able to honor and celebrate what has gone before while also being given a clear picture of where the church wants to go. She also needs time to express fears and needs encouragement.

3. "This is moving too fast." This critic may be saying, "I don't feel like I have been a part of this process. I don't want anything crammed down my throat." He needed information from the outset. To honor such critics, provide information as the process progresses. Give them time to think before asking them to decide.

4. "You blew it." This person can be the most disconcerting ...

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