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4 Steps For Being Prepared to Address Criticism

I just read a great post by my kidmin Friend Lynda Freeman. You can read her post HERE. She asked the question, “What Do You Do With Potential ‘Controversies’ in Christmas.” I encourage you to read her great post. Here is my reply.

As I read Lynda’s post my first thought was that this is not simply a Christmas time issue. This is something that ministry leaders need to consider year round. For me the key is to be prepared. Here are some ways that you can help make sure you are ready to deal with potential controversies as mentioned in Lynda’s post.
1.) Pray. We need to remember that while God has called us to lead the ministry, He is to be our leader. So we need to constantly be seeking his guidance through prayer. The people that God calls to ministry are gifted. This is a great thing, but it can cause us to rely more on our own abilities than on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Knowing that the plans we make have been covered in prayer and are guided by the Holy Spirit can give us the confidence needed to address concerns.
2.) Planning. Take the time to consider what you are doing and why. Pray for a vision, develop that vision and share it. THEN, ensure that the things you chose to do, or not do, in your ministry fall within that vision. Have a solid reason for WHY you make the choices you make in your ministry.
3.) Preparation. Being prepared can go a long way towards silencing critics. When you decide to do something make sure that when it happens, you are prepared for it. Certainly there are always last minute things that come up. But, you should be prepared enough that the entire even/program doesn’t look like a last minute thing.
4.)Posture. Ok, honestly I was searching for another P word here. What I really want to say is, BE CONFIDENT. Even when you don’t feel confident you need to appear it. One thing I used to tell young nurses when I trained them was that when they were in a room with a patient they always had to appear is they new what they were doing, even when they didn’t. I’m certainly not telling you to lie or pretend that you know something you don’t. But, if you appear scared or uncertain, then you WILL face more criticism and questioning.
At the end of the each of these is just a piece or the puzzle, and there may be more. The bottom line is to be prepared to answer peoples questions and concerns. Consider why and why not about each thing you decide to do or not do. Recently at my church we relaunched children’s church. As we were approaching the date I was asked about why I was doing it the way I was doing it. In that moment I did not answer well. I was not prepared to answer the question. I KNEW why I was doing it. Through my experience I had learned that certain things work and some don’t. I had also learned that you have to start somewhere. From there you can make changes as you go to get to a product that works. BUT, I had not actually taken the time to really thing about the WHYs behind what we were getting ready to do. I KNEW them, but hadn’t given them enough thought to be able to communicate them to others. We shouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to think about all the potential complaints that people might express, but we should spend enough time thinking about why we do things and how things fit into the vision of the church and ministry that we are ready to answer these questions when they come up… and they WILL come up.
Matt Norman

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I am a Christian, husband, father, pastor, church planter, nurse, and freelance writer.

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