No one like criticism. Even when the criticism is legitimate or at least partially legitimate the sting is very real. For pastors this is especially true because so much of our work depends on being liked. The reality is intensified because of the amount of criticism that many pastors receive.
In my case, God has been exceedingly gentle. He has caused me to serve as pastor to a very affirming congregation. What is more, the vast majority of the criticism that I do receive comes from brothers who I know care about me. But even when that is not the case I find that there is usually at least a kernel of truth that I need to hear and learn from.
Recently C.J. Mahaney completed a series of blog posts entitled "The Pastor and Personal Criticism." They are well worth the read.
1. The Pastor and Personal Criticism
2. The Pastor’s Temptations when Criticism Arrives
3. Learning Wisdom by Embracing Criticism
4. A Kind and Painful Bruising
5. The Pastor’s Wife and Her Role When Criticism Arrives
6. Adding a Few Smudges to My Moral Portrait
7. Deal Gently with Your Critics
8. Why Faithful Pastors Will Be Criticized
9. Too High an Estimation
10. Distinguishing Criticism
11. How to Criticize Your Pastor (And Honor God)