Ideas for
Worship Leaders
HOW TO HANDLE CRITICISM IN
WORSHIP MINISTRY

Every worship leader, at one time or another, will
have someone criticize some part of the worship
ministry.  The laundry list of issues could include:  the
songs, the volume, the style, the length of worship,
etc.

It is one of the hardest parts of worship ministry.  
How does one handle criticism?

It can be harsh.  It can be ambiguous.  It can be
unfair.  That's not to say the criticism is always bad.  
Sometimes what is offered  genuinely helps.  To
handle the inevitable, let me suggest a few things to
help you "keep your chin up".

1. Accept what is said without arguing.  It is important
to hear the other person, even if they come from an
ignorant view point.  Sometimes people just don't
understand all that goes into the worship ministry.  
Major on grace as you listen with your ears, your
eyes, and your heart.

2. If asked to give an answer to the criticism, you can
do so, but I recommend that you ask for time to think
about it and get back to them when you have had time
to pray and work through your initial thoughts.  
Answer again with grace.  It won't help to come
across as a "know-it-all".  Rather, be a brother or
sister by lovingly committing yourself to the
relationship.  Avoiding the person who has criticized
you is not healthy and will only result in protracted
trouble.

3. Do your best to disconnect yourself from what you
do.  If someone does criticize, most often they are not
attacking you, even though it may feel like it.  Lean
on the Holy Spirit of God to be wise with the feelings
you may have.  Remember you are
loved by God and
though you might hear something difficult, life will go
on and you will recover.

4. To be honourable in a matter like this, do not
succumb to the temptation to create an "us and
them" atmosphere. This can happen when we bring
others into the "argument", trying to bolster our
position.  (For example, by saying "Well, so-and-so
agrees with me.")  Remember we are all part of the
Body of Christ and unity is at the heart of acceptable
worship.  Dividing in order to conquer is a worldly
tactic.

5. When criticism is helpful, take the opportunity to
thank the person and build a deeper relationship.  It
just may be that God is providing someone to be a
sounding board.  What a blessing it is to have
someone we can trust to give objective and honest
input!  We really don't need a lot people to tell us
what we're doing right.  For that, we simply look for
God's smile.  And he will smile when we humble
ourselves before one another.

6. Let God guard you from unfair treatment.   God is
far more powerful to rightly judge any situation.  Give
God the right to correct.  He can and he will.  That
does not mean that you become a "door mat" but it
does mean that you reserve the right of rebuttal to
God.  Practice trust in God.  Not only is this
God-honouring, but you may win a friend in the end.

I have had well-meaning people criticize the way I
play piano, sing, write, and even look.  At those
moments I admit there was pain.  The worst pain for
me came when the criticism was directed to what I
thought was a strength.  It's in those times that
worship leaders, singers, musicians, and sound
operators can choose between anger or trust that the
discipline of the Holy Spirit will result in the growth of
maturity.

You may be experiencing a moment of pain right now
because of what someone said.  My prayer is that you
pursue God, who is your
shelter.  Oh, by the way, if
you haven't heard critical comments recently, you just
may be hearing them soon.  Don't fear, but joyfully
draw strength from God, your
help.
                         
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