Axioms for Children’s Ministry #4 – Find the Critic’s Kernel of Truth
It used to really bug me when people would criticize children’s ministry. Other staff, volunteers or parents seemed to very easily toss out a comment critical of me, my team or our program. You’ve probably been there, too!
As we look at Axioms from Bill Hybels’ book of the same name, and then relate them to Children’s Ministry, this is a big one! Because KidMin is so complex and deals with so manyareas and so many people, criticism is almost always present in some form or another.
How we deal with it as the leader will go a long way toward either overcoming it or giving in to it. Here’s what Hybels says in his chapter on this subject:
A very wise man once told me that tucked deep inside every critic’s attack is usually at least a tiny kernel of truth. And rather than lashing back, he advised, I should spend my energy figuring out what it is. (pg. 159)
So true!! When I finally realized this in my own ministry, and began taking this approach, things changed significantly! Mostly it was my attitude, but I also found that as I sought to take the criticism – whether it was offered lovingly or not – and grow from it, I created a whole new dynamic. Instead of being defensive and making things worse between myself and the critic, I became accepting and made things better. I listened and learned. And that made me and my ministry better.
This takes some practice – and not a little bit of thick skin! – but it’s so worth it in the long run.