When I have complaints or criticism I ask a question:
Is it individual or representative?
In other words:
Is it one person with an problem or is it multiple people?
Is it a personal issue or a public issue?
Does this complaint or criticism represent one person’s opinion or is it representative of a larger number of people?
The answer is critical before responding. I know I can’t please everyone. Some individuals are simply going to disagree with the way I or our church does something. I will listen to the complaint and respond to even the individual criticism, but when there is a growing tension among the masses, the issue demands more attention. It may not alter my response, but it does alter the intensity of my response. I realize when a larger number have the same complaint or criticism that it may lead to a “bad culture that eats good vision”. (I wrote about that principle HERE.)
To read more of my thoughts on responding to criticism see:
What do you think? Do you ask similar questions when responding to criticism?