Recently watched the documentary Pearl Jam 20 by Cameron Crowe (I love you Cameron Crowe!), and I thought it had a ton of lessons for church planters. Here’s one…
Pearl Jam and Nirvana were both getting their start at the same time and in the same city. Kurt Cobain, lead singer for Nirvana, publicly criticized Pearl Jam saying they were too mainstream. And you know where that goes, right? It leads to bad blood, a war between the bands, insults flying. Except, it didn’t. Pearl Jam took the criticism, and said it helped to make them a better band. Kind of amazing.
Church planters often get hit with lots of criticism. “The music is too loud.” “You’re not really preaching the gospel.” “We don’t need another church in this town.” “You don’t have the programs I’m looking for.” “You don’t take God seriously enough.” “Your teaching isn’t deep enough.”
And you know where that goes, right? You get hurt, then angry. Then you get defensive, and self-righteous, and angry. You deny and justify. But what if you took the criticism, looked for what was true in it, and used it to help make you a better pastor who leads a better church?
That would be kind of amazing.