No matter how far up the ladder of ministry you climb, you will always find those eager to analyze and judge your work. So how do you respond?
Surely there is a better way to deal with your critics in the church than hiding from them.
Here are the five different types of critics who may be infiltrating your ministry and practical advice on how to deal with them without hiding in the chemical closet:
1. The Cruel Critic rarely considers herself cruel. Usually, the Cruel Critic experienced cruelty during her childhood or adolescence and responds out of her own pain.
Never forget the importance of extending grace and kindness to The Cruel Critic. You may become a balm of healing and restoration in her life.
2. The Never-Satisfied Critic is exhausting and will grate on your emotions. Part of the reason your best isn’t good enough is because her best isn’t good enough for her either.
Tell her! Whenever a victory occurs, especially when the victory is hers, include her in the celebration. Remember that she has a gift someone else may be better equipped to discover and celebrate.
3.The Self-Appointed Critic deems herself the judge of everything you do. While having someone who can recognize problems is important, what you really need are people who will also provide a solution.
Rouse the Self-Appointed Critic to take responsibility for finding a solution by asking her how she would fix the problem. You may find that the your biggest critic becomes your closest champion.
4. The I-Wish-I-Were-You Critic can be difficult to identify because you may not recognize where the sharp edges of the critique come from. “In my experience”; “At my last church, I”; “When I was leading” are all phrases this Critic tends to use.
Is there a place she can serve? Need another small group leader? With some guidance, she may help launch a fabulous new ministry or outreach at your church.
5. The Constructive Critic is the Winner of the Best Critic Award. The Constructive Critic not only identifies the problem, but has a solution and wants to take part. Invite her to celebrate as goals are accomplished. Be intentional in identifying her strengths to give encouragement. As she gains more trust, invite her to contribute further and to take ideas to the next level.
Which critic is the hardest for you to deal with? Why?
How far out of your way have you gone to avoid a critic?