2 min read

For every problem, there is a solution.

But in the world of cyber anonymity, there is usually a problem for every solution. 

Any help, advice, opinion (however wise and sensible), will be met with criticism and negativity at some point.

As a pastor or leader of a church ministry, how do you handle this criticism from people who have never met you in person (and probably will never have the opportunity)?

Do Not Ignore Criticism

Hiding your head in the sand will not make the criticism go away. Address your critics and do not pretend that their comments are null. It is likely that you are expressing the right sentiment on the wrong forums.

Be Gracious

Never get involved in dramatics on your social media platforms. At all costs, avoid arguments. Be gracious with anyone who is openly criticizing your approach or even get personal with their attacks.

In other words, be polite.

Acknowledge The Feedback

Thank them for expressing their opinion. After all, any engagement on your church social media platforms is a sign that you are moving in the right direction. Ask questions and seek understanding.

How to handle online criticism and personal attacks

Don’t run from attacks… unless in physical danger!

Win Them Over

Others are observing your response. If you handle the situation with grace and diplomacy, you will likely win the favor of other strangers who will applaud you for remaining calm and expressing an engaging nature.

With the right approach, agreeing and understanding your critic will lead to them being open to listen to your point of view. The easiest way to win the loyalty of a critic is to first give them the attention they need. Invite them to a private conversation or for a cup of coffee at a neutral venue and invest some time in understanding their perspective.

If they are not willing to see your point of view, at least your worldview would have expanded from the conversation and your learning from this experience will benefit you the next time you are confronted by online criticism.