Monday, February 18, 2008 1 clicked here to leave a comment
In the wake of our shot glass outreach, I have been asked one question over and over again: "How do you handle criticism about your methods, especially when that criticism is pointed and harsh?" Thought I'd talk about that for a moment.

First, while there was indeed some criticism about the shot glass outreach, there was a LOT of affirmation and encouragement - and we are really grateful for that!

Next, I very rarely respond to criticism of any kind, and I have directed our staff to take the same approach.

It's not that we think we are right all the time, because we aren't. But we have prayed and thought and talked a lot about what we are doing, and so generally we are pretty confident.

But even more than that, I am huge on the fact that leaders have very little time to accomplish really important stuff and we can't be distracted.

And there could be few things more distracting than responding to every blogger who criticizes us for "thinking the Gospel needs their clever marketing because it's not powerful enough" (boy, yep, nailed me there) or "not going all the way and handing out condoms with the church logo on them".

Just not going to spend any time responding when a critic either impugns our heart or doesn't take the time to think their point through. If they didn't take the time, why should we?

But when there is a genuine, seeking, kind question about unintended consequences, or when we have the chance to clear up misinformation, we'll spend a few moments doing that.

Clarity, yes. Controversy and debate, no.

Maybe the most important guiding principle is that I want our leaders to spend the vast majority of their time communicating with, meeting with, praying for, and thinking about our real target - disconnected people far from God.

Largely, connected people have plenty of other resources, churches, and people who will debate with them or confirm their already strongly-held opinions.

As for us, we are going to leverage our time and energy where we can be most faithful to our unique calling and where we think we can make the most difference.

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