How a Pastor Should Respond to Criticism

In a piece on THE PERILS OF SELF PROMOTION: 8 Mistakes of Seminarians & Young Pastors by Christopher J. Gordon, he wisely writes the following in a section on  Are You Questioning Me?

Always be willing to ask for forgiveness and be humble. If you ever get to the point where you cannot accept or receive any criticism, pride has overcome you. We will sin and make many mistakes along the way, and the willingness to seek for reconciliation is a big qualification of a servant. There will always be antagonists in the church, and I believe God allows for these thorns in the flesh to keep us humble. We should see in these thorns a representation of ourselves in how we have treated the Lord, being reminded of his unfailing love for us.

I never accepted criticism well in my early years. A seasoned pastor once reminded me that he was often roasted at the Sunday lunch by his parishioners and that I should get used to this about the ministry, lest I start acting like a cult leader. I never forgot that advice.

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