So here's a little piece of my soul. I want to be liked. I want to be admired and looked up to. And if I'm not careful this desire can cause me to resist correction and be quick to be defensive at feedback and it sure keeps me from inviting it.
But I'm noticing more and more that so often ministry leaders don't have a place for people to share the feedback they have with the leader. And really it's just plain scary to share constructive feedback with your authority when it is not invited or when there is not a place for it. And really, unless someone is super humble, it probably wont go very well since it will probably catch the leader off guard when said just at random.
So as I've been noticing this dilemma, I decided I did not want to be one who was unwilling to invite others to help me in my blind spots. So I gathered all the courage I had and begged God for the ability to ask for feedback from another ministry leader who I lead. I felt a little like throwing up. I wondered, "Would bringing my flaws to surface cause her to respect me less?", "What if she thinks horrible things about me and my bubble of thinking that people like me is crushed?", "What if she says nobody likes me and everyone thinks I'm an awful leader and wish I wasn't their leader?" I know these are crazy, and I sure hope I am not alone in some of these crazy thoughts.
But put in perspective the cost of not asking for feedback is FAR greater than my pride being hurt. If I don't invite feedback, then I wont grow in healthy emotional ways and will become an unhealthy leader with an unhealthy perspective of myself and therefore of others-leaving them to measure up to a standard of perfection. Healthy, godly people are involved and vulnerable in communities of grace and truth. If I, as a leader am not receiving truth, it will not be a pretty sight and will hurt everyone I lead. So as I think about inviting constructive feedback, I need to remember it's just not about me but it is a way to better serve the people the Lord has entrusted to me to serve. If I am not healthy, I wont be able to lead them well.
A couple tips for asking for feedback:
* Be specific on what your asking for. i.e. Give them a topic.
* Go to God first and after.
* Sort our the good and the bad. Keep the good and let go of the bad.
* Think of ways you can put effort into growing in that area with the Lord's enablement.
* Choose to ask someone who has a strong relationship with the Lord and knows you well.
We exist to glorify God, to display His heart and character. And I just love how we are all uniquely built to do that. So every Friday I want to give you, uniquely designed by God, an opportunity to link up your thoughts on God, art, baking, photography, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, writing or blogging and more if they tie into or display the Lord somehow.
Here's how it works.
1. Link up as many blog posts as you want below by clicking the link below and following the prompts. (Perhaps think of old posts you want more exposure to as well as new ones.)
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3. Take a minute to visit and comment on another sweet lady or two's post. You're encouragement might be just what she needs to keep pressing on in being a voice in the darkness.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has five kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 13 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
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Sharing this over at these awesome blogs
6/25/2015 09:19:14 pm
Laura, this is earth-shatteringly wise advice, and I've felt for years that I wish someone would DARE to just question my decisions or present an alternative or ANYTHING, so that I would feel as if my leadership were more collaborative and that others were buying into the big picture instead of blindly following and affirming everything I do. What a pro-active stance to go looking for criticism and feedback. Why didn't I just do that? Yeah, because it's hard and feels awkward. Thanks for your thoughts!
Oh my did this hit me right where God needed it to! So as I've been noticing this dilemma, I decided I did not want to be one who was unwilling to invite others to help me in my blind spots. So I gathered all the courage I had and begged God for the ability to ask for feedback from another ministry leader who I lead. I felt a little like throwing up. Thank you for your honesty it has moved me to wrestle with some areas! Stopping by from Reflect.
6/25/2015 11:08:45 pm
I love this idea of asking for feedback from people we love and respect. It takes such bravery to do it, but it's such a great way to invite God and invite other people to speak clearly into our lives about areas we can grow and areas where we are already growing. Thanks for sharing these challenging words and for hosting another great linkup!
How brave of you to put yourself out there like that. I think that we all have some idea of our flaws, but it's something totally different to have them confirmed by someone else. Imagine how much we could all grow if we were willing to swallow our pride and learn how to improve ourselves instead of being terrified of acknowledging what we know deep down to be true. Thank you for sharing this!
6/27/2015 01:09:10 am
Thanks for hosting! Have a wonderful weekend :)
6/27/2015 10:49:58 pm
I have been praying for feedback lately.
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I'm Laura the founder of Missional Women and this is my sweet friend, Lyli. We host a link up for bloggers every Friday and look forward to having you join us. But before you go, look around, we are here to glorify God and be a blessing to you.
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