Monday, September 12, 2011

Never Gauge a Congregation by Complaints

Never judge a congregation (or anything) simply by the complaints you hear. There's a simple reason for this. You will listen to the complaints that complain about things you dislike while you will automatically excuse the complaints that hit close to home.

We will listen and give great credence to the person who complains about the horrid contemporary music... but we'll brush off the fellow who complains about the horrid chanting... the second guy just doesn't get it, we assume.

This is human nature -- if a complaint hits too close to home, we brush it aside, we ignore it, we pretend it is totally unfounded. But if its something that we too would complain about - oh, you are so right.

This is easily observed in on-line political discussions. Watch a bunch of Republicans complain and then watch a bunch of Democrats complain. Some complaints are viewed as valid, and others as spurious... and what do you know, these mesh right up with party lines.

Rather this - listen to what people speak well of and then *why* they speak well of things. Ask them why they thing something is done well. Then you can actually learn something.

And if they can't find anything to praise or speak well of - ignore them. Seriously. Even St. Paul could say that the pagans were zealous... we should be well practiced at putting the best construction on things. If not -- go find another place to listen to.

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