Part of being a leader is sticking your neck out. And Chris has done that. He put the nail the coffin of a great, but dying youth ministry model at Sonlife. (Sure, it gave birth to some of the great movements of evangelicalism but, as much as I loved it, was becoming a dinosaur.) Next, he closed Sonlife’s offices and joined forces with YouthFront. On top of all that he published a bold book called “A New Kind of Youth Ministry.” In all of these things he said and did things that were strategic, smart, and bold. And for a guy who sticks his neck out you have to expect that criticism would come.
Imagine the polarization of Christian leader Chris encounters! People either love what he is doing and think he is brilliant or think he is a complete failure who is ruining the good things they knew and loved.
I can imagine, as I’ve been in similar situations, how Chris gets tired of the criticism. And, more to the point, there is always a temptation to get on your high horse and blast a critic.
For a few months now someone has been emailing me a link to this review of my book: (not linking it intentionally) — Almost every week I get an email — sometimes a couple of times a week. It is wicked annoying. Read the rest of his post
Leaders need to be careful how often they use their talents. Chris is gifted as a leader and is a great communicator. While it’s OK to be annoyed/hurt/pissed about this, he’s got to be careful not to lose his composure.
Here’s a temptation:
Ranting is addictive. When you break composure and let out that something has gotten to you, loads of people cheer you on. They see their own situations in your rant and encourage you. Furthermore, the economy of hate kicks in and your vent gets so much traffic, so many comments, and so much attention that you actually like the ego boost. So, you carefully and strategically do it again.
Was Chris wrong? No… I don’t think it was wrong to say what he said. Certainly, it is his space and he has the freedom to do as he wants. All I’m saying is that it’s a temptation to do it again. (I don’t think I’ve ever read a post like that on his blog, which is what made it so memorable)
When you are blogging, chatting in the foyer at your church, chatting with friends, or any other place in your life where people are listen to you, you need to be careful how you use the talents God has given you.
Because abused they can be powerful in destroying yourself and others.