Just Criticizing the Culture Won’t Change the Culture

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When it comes to engaging in public policy and challenging today’s culture, one of the least likely strategies is one built around criticism. The growing number of churches and ministries that are constantly “against something” has always been a disturbing trend. On a regular basis, I see an avalanche of direct mail campaigns and magazine articles by organizations upset about

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Feedback: When to Listen to it and When to Ignore It

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Since many of my readers are creatives, I’ve had a number of them ask me how to respond to criticism.  Anyone who’s creative and pushing the boundaries will have critics, so the question becomes, how should we react?  Can I learn from it?  Who should I ignore?  So I asked my friend and writer Simon Dillon, who’s based in the UK, and who’s work includes children’s adventure stories and novels for grown-ups for advice.  Here’s his take:  

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What to Do When People Don’t Recognize Your Talent or Potential

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If your goal is to make an impact in your career or calling, it won’t be long before you meet someone who doesn’t recognize (or even dismisses) your talent. Early in my career, I worked for a man who thought so many of my ideas were stupid that he fired me. But after I left, I used those same “stupid” ideas to help other organizations do amazing things. But sadly, my experience has been echoed throughout history. For instance:

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Noah: Has Anyone Changed Their Mind About the Movie?

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Remember the movie “Noah?” When it came out 16 months ago, I wrote a blog post about the fact that even though it wasn’t the Biblical story, Christians should see it. After all, hundreds of thousands of others would see it, and why not invite a non-believer to the movie, and then take them out for coffee and share the real story? I’d been on the set and met the filmmakers, then wrote the post.  But more than 1,000 responses later (on the blog and my social media sites), I realized

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How To Deal With Online Church Trolls

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I’ve consulted with hundreds of churches over the years, and sadly, there’s one common enemy some of the most effective churches in America share – online trolls.  In these cases, at least one disgruntled ex-church member has decided to launch a Facebook page, Twitter feed, and in some cases a blog with the express purpose of criticizing the church. There are many reasons: some were offended by the pastor, others don’t like the church’s teaching, a few feel they were taken advantage of, and still others are convinced they’ve uncovered secret

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The Secrets of Confronting Without Offending

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At some point, all leaders will be required to confront someone on their team. It may be about performance, personal behavior, mismanagement, or a host of other possibilities, but confrontation is critical – and inevitable – in all organizations. However, as Deborah Smith Pegues points out in her excellent book “Confronting Without Offending,” the key is to use confrontation to make better employees, not drive them away. Here’s a few of her tips for making that happen:

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When To Give Up On Your Ideas or Projects

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Yesterday I wrote about resilience, and how important it can be to not give up on your ideas, your projects, and your dreams – even in the face of opposition. I used my friend Producer Ken Wales as an example of someone who pitched a movie idea for years and years and eventually made it happen. But the truth is, there are situations when it’s actually better to let go of an idea and move on – even if you’ve spent years developing and writing it. The problem is –

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Have We Started Demanding Christian Leaders Sign a Loyalty Oath?

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For hundreds of years as missionaries took the gospel to the ends of the earth, depending on the culture they encountered, the Christian community allowed them enormous latitude into how they chose to present the message. For instance, when a missionary worked in a culture steeped in polygamy, he didn’t start by teaching what the Bible said about “one husband and one wife.” He knew the key to changing embedded cultural behavior wasn’t immediate confrontation; it was the sometimes long process of

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