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Handling Criticism in Youth Ministry
By : Neale Meredith
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Receiving criticism is never a pleasant experience, especially when you are a high stake holder in what is being criticized. This is especially true for those who are involved with youth ministry. Youth ministry tends to be on the front lines of criticism in our churches, not because we donít support and appreciate our youth ministries, but more so because, especially parents, want the best for our kids and everyone has an idea as to what, how and when it should be happening. Itís a conflict of stakeholders. The youth minister or key leader/s must learn to navigate their way through what can be a mine field in order to fulfill the vision and mission that God has given them. I asked Brenton Killeen, Youth Minister at One Community Church Blackburn (Victoria) to reflect on his experience of criticism and how he has handled it over the years. Neale: From what areas in your youth ministry do you face the most criticism and how do you deal with it? Brenton: Two areas come to mind. Firstly, parents. This is to be expected I suppose. Parents obviously have their youth in mind when placing expectations on how they think the youth ministry should be governed, i.e. whatís convenient or feels right for them as opposed to the vision and direction of the youth ministry.

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