Thursday, September 18, 2008

How To Handle Criticism

I know I blew Ps. Rick Fourie's horn in the last post but let me say again how heroic his departure from the 'normal youth ministry' is as he follows his churches identity and mandate. With this bold move... you've guessed it... our old friend criticism is a sure partner for the trip.

So how do we cope with the flack? I am going to share 4 points that I recently read in Ps Craig Groeschel's book, 'Confessions of a Pastor'. (Its a fantastic read that I highly recomend by the way!)

When some criticises you the very
first thing is to consider is the 'source'. Is it someone who loves you and is involved in 'the game' or is it someone who is just looking for a place to gripe? Is this person seeking your best? If the source is good then we would be wise to listen to what they say (no matter how humbling it may be).

Proverbs 15:31 - 32 (NLT) says:

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

Secondly, if the person is voicing something because of a dislike for you (or the idea)... sometimnes its good to answer the criticism and set the facts straight.

If you believe that giving a response can help the critic understasnd your position... then go for it and share your side of the story.

However, some people will just always be negative no matter what. This criticism needs to be dismissed. (remember that hurt people hurt people - that their criticisms probably reveal what their internal struggles are). These people usually dislike themselves and critize others in a misguided attempt to validate themselves.

Lastly, if your critics are just in your face... and you've tried listening and dismissing what they have to say but they're just all in your face... then its time to endure! Endurance is critical if you want to succeed spectaularly at anything that God sets before you.

So we need to: Listen, Answer, Dismiss and hardest of all... Endure.

Above all else, never forget: You can't please all people, but you can please God.

I trust that this has been useful.

I'd love to read your comments on this subject.

Godspeed & Kaizan


Monday, September 15, 2008

STOP...Who Are You?

Anyone who has ever been involved in design will relate to this video big time. Give it a whirl and then read the thought below...

I must admit that Rick Fourie's (of Life Church in Hamilton) message at the last Vision Youth Network meeting still has me pondering. I'm sure that I am going to be thinking about the stuff for the next few months.
Rick spoke to us about knowing our identities... knowing our churches mandate, and having what we do flow from that.

The danger is that if we don't know who we are... well our ministries will end up looking like the STOP sign in the above video... and we'll be about as effective to.

Till next time...

Godspeed & Kaizan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Interns and Evaluations - How To Take Over The World

Hey gang... I've been on leave so I'm really relaxed. Last Tuesday evening I got season 5 of Alias ... and by 9:30pm on Saturday we had finished all 17 episodes - that's what I'm talking about!

I actually have hardly been on the web this past 2 weeks but I found 2 great posts for us to think on.
The first is a post by Seth Godin. Seth had a summer internship program and he had a really interesting way of sifting out applicants. Check it out HERE.
In my experience having an intern can either be the greatest blessing or the greatest drag to your ministry. Too often we are so keen to get help we'll just take anyone. If you haven't made this mistake yet... please take heed.
Luckily I haven't had nightmarish interns in quiet some time.

In fact if you are interested in utilizing this great win-win situation I strongly recommend
Vision College's internship program. The Interns have 5 block courses they attend, get some study to do in their correspondence study days, serve in their local church a minimum of 15 hours a week, and because this course is considered full time study the government can give the usual benefits to full time students. Why wouldn't you?! Vision's web site again - just click HERE.

Anyways, on to the next very interesting post by Pastor Craig Groeschel. Craig is in the process of writting 3 intreresting posts on questions that we should constantly be asking ourselves in ministy. Thus far he has only written the first of 3. To see it just click

It is so easy getting stuck in the week to week grind of ministry. I find myself in the hamster wheel all too often. Perhaps we should have at least one day a month to reflect and evaluate. I wonder what difference this will make to our city if we put this one thing into practice over the next 18 months?!

Lastly, don't forget that this friday we have our Vision Youth Network meeting at the Elim Church on Te Rapa road from 2-4pm. We'd love to have you there!

Godspeed & Kaizan