Thursday, March 21, 2013

Was This Book Good or Did It Stink? My Review of "Criticism Bites"

Well, Brian Berry has written a book called Criticism Bites. Was it good or did it stink? How will he handle my review? Will he have to heed his own advice?

Yes. BUT ... his advice about hanging onto notes of encouragement to help him keep things in perspective when he's facing discouragement. This book was fantastic! I really enjoyed it and wish it had been around in my earlier years of ministry.

As Brian shared personal stories and lessons he has learned in his nearly twenty years of youth ministry I felt such an affinity with him. Many of his stories closely resembled my experiences. The criticisms he has heard and the emotions he has felt sounded so strangely familiar. As C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one”

Youth workers need community. So many people throw in the towel because they feel all alone. The reality is that while the youth ministry field is a unique culture to work in, those who find themselves therein share many of the same challenges. And the biggest challenge is usually criticism - and youth workers get hit with it from so many different angles. We get it from students, from parents, from volunteers, from pastors, from custodians, from older generations ... It's hard enough to try and make one of these demographics happy. Impossible to make them all happy. The truth is that no matter what we do, we will have our critics. I've had and have mine. You do too.

This book is a tremendous encouragement to those in the trenched of youth ministry. I would even go further and say ... this book is valuable for everyone! Criticism bites everyone, not just youth workers. The best thing about the book is not that Brian has a big boo hoo, poor me, feel bad for me that I am unfairly criticized catharsis. Rather, he shares his stories and then distills truths and principles for dealing with criticism in healthy ways.

I highly recommend this book to all.

No comments: