One of my favorite meetings at MLC might surprise you. It’s the critique session. Several of our Pastors meet with my husband after our worship services for feedback and input on everything from lighting and sound to message-delivery. Now, before you think that this sounds less than spiritual, let me explain. You see, at MLC we care about intentionality and clarity. We understand that we only have an hour to explain the Good News of Jesus to a crowd that struggles with doubt and hurt, and we want each minute to count. Everything we do is geared to drive home the message that God cares about people, and, if we can improve in any area, we absolutely want to.
Hence, the critique session. First, we encourage each other. We always start this way. All of our teams and Pastors work hard and give their all, and we take time to notice. Then, we suggest ways to improve. Maybe we decide to flip the order of songs. Sometimes, we add something new. Other times, we eliminate things entirely. There are times when an idea gets shot down and when feedback hurts. Hey, it never feels good to be critiqued, does it? But, guess what? When we trust each other enough to know we have the common good and our best interests at heart, we can take suggestions and roll with it. That meeting if full of critiques, not critics. Best of all, over time, we’ve all grown from these sessions. We’ve all stretched our skills and grown in our effectiveness. That’s success!
As I watch the growth, maturity, and leadership development take place through these critique sessions, I can’t help but relate the lesson back to my personal life. No one likes a critic, but we can all benefit from a trusted friend who can speak truth into our life….even if it’s uncomfortable at times. But, here’s the key: we must be willing to listen with a receptive heart. We can’t assume a defensive attitude that says I’m right and you’re wrong. I know, I know. It’s NOT easy. But, the proof is in the pudding. Being receptive to constructive criticism can make you better.
Critics and critiques. There’s a difference. So, find the people in your life that you trust, that have your best interest at heart, and that love the Lord. Then, open yourself wide to the accountability that they can provide. No pain, no gain. 🙂