One of the most common questions that I’m asked by young pastors is, “How do you handle the critics?” While I’ve written on this some in the past, this week I want to tackle it from a different angle.
First of all, I’ve realized that no matter what a leader does, he or she will be criticized. For example, I’ve been criticized a lot for building the church around my preaching. When I started using more teachers, I received equal criticism for not preaching enough. Criticism comes with the territory.
This week I’ll talk about a few ways I’ve changed in handling criticism.
Learn what you can from criticism.
In the early years, I reacted negatively to all criticism. I spent my energy defending rather than learning. Over time, rather than dismissing all critics, I opened my heart to learn from them. God has used several constructive and a few not-so-constructive critics to help me grow and improve as a spiritual shepherd and leader.
Rather than reacting defensively, it’s helpful to ask if there is anything truthful or helpful in criticism.
How have you learned and grown after receiving criticism?