Biblical Criticism

Blogging connects you to a very open network of readers and learners. It is always cool to receive responses from my readers that add to and improve what I have already written. A friend of mine is on staff at Christian Life Assemble in Camp Hill, PA. Recently the Pastor of this large church shared the following with their congregation. If follows up on a post of mine from last week. I thought I would share it with you. Good stuff. Don't think I am hounding on this, I just want to share good stuff when I get. Be sharpened!

“Biblical Guidelines for Giving Constructive Criticism”

1. It needs to be con-structive NOT de-structive. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29. As members of the same family, we should expect the best and give one another the benefit of the doubt. This is the spirit of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

2. It needs to be based on Scripture, NOT personal preference. Personal preferences are just that. Some like their steak well done, some medium well, some well and some like it rare. Which steak is best? It depends on who you ask! We must be careful about demanding that everyone like steak the way we like it! If a change/decision is not in clear violation of Biblical doctrine, then we need to keep an open mind.

3. Tell it to Jesus first, then to leadership second. We ask that you take 5 days to pray about it before you call, e-mail or talk to the appropriate leader about it. (See Philippians 4:6-7)

4. Don’t talk to anyone else about it! Protect the unity of your church. This is in our Membership Covenant and is a Biblical expectation for all believers. (See Ephesians 4:2-3)

5. Help keep your spiritual leaders healthy, for your benefit and ours! Remember that your pastors and ministry staff are flesh and blood. You cut us, we bleed. If you want us to be able to provide effective ministry to you and your family/friends, help us stay emotionally and spiritually healthy. We have to pick ourselves back up after criticism and lead with God’s help. (See Hebrews 13:17-18)

This is not an effort to stop truly constructive criticism! We’d much rather hear concerns straight from you than have them go underground or circulating through a “grapevine.” These guidelines are to help us keep a healthy church that lives by the Book! We want to honor the Lord and let every decision we make stem from our priority to “Love God (more than anything), Love People, and Change the World.”