Friday, January 02, 2009

Love in criticism

Lets set the scene: A preacher gets up and preaches, he says some good things, but you don't like him, you don't agree with what he says, you think he was talking about Jesus enough, you think that actually you could do much better or you know someone else that could... you sit there and He finishes preaching... What do you do next?

I guess there are several options and I want to go through them. This is something I have seen other people do and I also find myself doing...

1. Turn to your mates and tell them how rubbish the preacher was. How wrong they were in this and this area and rip them to shreads. Any form of encouragment that comes to you about them you toss into the nearest waste basket and carry on with your wrath upon their preaching. Gossip. You slate them and conclude that you are a much better Christian then them because you know the right way to teach that passage....

2. Pray & Be slow to Speak -
a) Ask God to open your heart and mind to what the preacher was saying. Explore why you didnt agree with it..Test it against the bible. Was it just the preaching style? Was it cos he didnt wear a shirt and tie? Are you being too judgemental and not loving?
Love this person no matter if you disagree with them.

b) Here is what most people don't like doing...chatting to the preacher afterwards and perhaps giving time for prayer and seeking Gods wisdom, not charging up to them straight after the preach. Is this not more edifying? How arrogant we can be in thinking that the way we do things or the way a certain group does things is always right... God is not in a box!

But does this not bare more of a Christlike Character then storming off and telling your Christian circle how rubbish He is. Why not think of some encouragments to tell the preacher and ask him to explain more about the passage and why he thinks certain things. Most preachers would be willing to do this and it will help you to discern more the next time you hear them preach.

After a ECU event or meeting, as I sit in the car and I have Alex passing questions to me about the meeting. He asks me to say encouraging things about the talk or event and then any critical points that are constructive...and we discuss this, not because we want to pull the CU down, but because we want to build them up. Once that is discussed we report back to the committee or preacher or whoever and encourage them, equip them and build them up.

The question I have to ask myself is am I doing this to make ME look good or to see them become more like Christ??

1 comment:

dave bish said...

Helpful stuff. I wrote a post for Marcus Honeysett on this last year:

On giving critique of sermons