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MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CRITICS

To paraphrase Job, pastors are born to criticism like sparks fly upward. When criticized, however, many of us don't exhibit the patience of Job as much as the defensiveness of a politician under fire. And thus, sometimes we fuel more fires than we douse.

In my ministry I've struggled with how to respond to critics. Since it's in such great supply, I've tried to turn criticism into a beneficial resource.

Acknowledge mistakes

When the critics are right, I find it best to admit my mistakes and learn what I can.

A few years ago, some students wanted to teach. I gave them the go-ahead. I have had lots of good ideas in more than a decade of campus ministry, but having unsupervised students prepare and give a Bible talk to fifty or sixty other students was not one of them.

When the time came for the talk of one student, he was so nervous his knees knocked. He did a lousy job. He knew it. I knew it. My student leaders knew it. We all were embarrassed.

They blamed me, and rightfully so. I should have ...

July/August
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