Constructive Criticism

If you have been in leadership of any type at any level for very long, you have received constructive criticism. When we hear it, we may question how “constructive” it actually is. One thing is certain…..it’s criticism, and it can be hard to accept.

It seems that in music ministry, everyone has an opinion.  Add to that the large number of amateur musicians who see no difference between their skills and that of a professional and you have a formula that’s ripe for lots of commentary.  “That tempo was too fast!”  “The key is extremely too low for the congregation.”  “You really should consider using more hymns for our blended congregation.”  “You really should consider using more contemporary music for our blended congregation.”  “Have you considered stepping down from the ministry?”  All the while, we are diligently trying to lead the people of God into authentic worship in the best way we know how.

As the criticism flies, we must be careful to guard our response. There is a tricky balance between exercising authority and assuring the members of your congregation and worship team that you are sensitive to their concerns.  For the past few weeks, my local congregation has been studying the book of James using Beth Moore’s wonderful DVDs. As I have continued to read the book and faced the above criticisms this week, I was reminded of what James 1:19-20 advises:  “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  I’m thankful that this week, I have kept my mouth shut and my ears open.  Then I’ve been able to take all the constructive criticism to the Audience of One and ask for His feedback on the situation. As always, He continues to give direction, clarity of mind, and perfect peace.

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