Confidence in leadership 14

Perry talks about ways that leaders can respond to criticisms of their actions. He lists six five options:

  1. Whine
  2. Be sad
  3. Get angry
  4. Lie and say it doesn’t bother you
  5. Ignore it (his preferred response)
  6. Explain yourself

UPDATE: Sorry, I just noticed that the sixth option wasn’t actually there.

14 thoughts on “Confidence in leadership

  1. JT Jul 7, 2009 9:03 pm

    Duncan, you’ve misrepresented Perry Noble’s words (again).

    Noble is not writing about “ways that leaders can respond to criticisms of their actions,” as you claim.

    Rather he is writing about five things you can do when people attack unjustly.

    I’m not sure how you missed that, as “Five Things You Can Do When People Attack Unjustly” is the title of his blog post.

  2. Albert Jul 7, 2009 9:11 pm

    Interesting observation JT. Can you then tell me why PN uses the word “leader” in the opening paragraph and throughout the rest of the points?

  3. Tommy F. Jul 7, 2009 10:42 pm


    Here’s what Perry says under his 5th option: “If you are a leader then you cannot afford to waste time defending yourself….”

    JDuncan’s post seems to call this mentality into question. It does seem a bit odd that “explain yourself” isn’t one of the options. Is this how we want our leaders (be it political, ecclesial, or familial) to behave?

    Not providing further explanation for a decision that is unpopular is like a parent telling a child “Because I said so.” This reasoning is both insulting and unhelpful. And it gives the impression that the person making the decision isn’t really sure why. Otherwise they could offer a reasonable defense.

    Just so I don’t misinterpret what you are you saying, JT, I have a question: do you think “Explain yourself” should be the 6th option, or do you like Perry’s 5?

  4. James Duncan Jul 8, 2009 12:02 am


    Can you point to any criticism that these leaders don’t think is unjust? Look at how many people in the comments on this blog thought my criticism of Gary Lamb was unjust.

  5. David J Jul 8, 2009 8:47 am

    There are some things Perry Noble should address and explain. When I sent Perry Noble an e-mail explaining why I left NewSpring, I went out of my way to be nice and professional. I listed my concerns using examples from Perry’s videos and blogs pointing him to the Scriptures. I all but begged him to reply and talk with me. My reply was silence from Perry Noble. My criticism of his actions was not unjust because the Scriptures are very clear about my complaints about his words and actions in question.

    I was following Acts 17:11 (New American Standard Bible)

    11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

    I pastor should never ignore criticism because you never know who is watching. There are good ways to handle criticism and bad ways. A pastor should strive to be an example even under the most harsh unjust criticisms. He must display Christ in his life and be able to handle this as a God fearing leader. Martin Luther did not ignore the unjust criticism of him coming from Rome.

    1 Timothy 3:1-6 (New American Standard Bible)

    1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

    2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

    3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.

    4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity

    5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),

    6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.

    By ignoring criticisms one leaves themselves open to remain in error. Yes, some criticisms are unjust and this is the time to hold fast to the Scriptures and let the light of truth shine. It’s in these unjust criticisms that one must show these to be unjust by simply addressing the issue. When someone ignored criticism it leaves a feeling that they are ignoring and hiding something, in other words to some, this might mean that something hit close to home.

    Titus 2:1-8 (New International Version)

    1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

    3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

    6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

    Just criticism helps address a problem and helps the person in error see the truth. Just criticisms help a Christian grow and mature.

    2 Timothy 2:15 (New American Standard Bible)

    15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

    Part of this is examining yourself when people critic you. I’m not saying conform to every whimper and be blown around like a leaf in the wind. I am saying that when someone presents Scriptures to you that are against what you are doing, we all should listen and study. After all, sometimes its very hard for us to see our own errors, therefore it’s a blessing when a fellow Christian talks to us about it using the Scriptures.

    Perry Noble should address the criticism over his foul mouth. Col 3:8 is very clear and should not be ignored. This is fair criticism because I have pointed the Scripture to Perry Noble showing his error. Perry Noble should repent in public and stop cussing. Perry Noble should apologize to the community for cussing and correct Brad Cooper’s BAMF comments in public. As it stands right, now I can only pray that Perry will repent because he refuses to address any concerns we have with him as a community.

    My complaints with Perry Noble are backed up in context by the Scriptures. My prayers for Perry Noble is that he submits to the Scriptures 100% and stop riding the wave of relevance. When one becomes so relevant that the Word of God becomes not relevant, then there is a huge problem.

    For those of you wondering, I have tried to contact Perry Noble and Brad Cooper personally with my real name and e-mail address. I even offered to meet Brad Cooper face to face to discuss BAMF and Col 3:8. I’ve tried every means possible to talk with them only to get ignored by Noble, my post deleted by Cooper(and called a coward), ignored by Cooper via his blog and twitter, and silence.

    It’s important to me to expose the errors coming from NewSpring because so many children and youth attend this church. I do not want my children writing/saying BAMF because of Brad Cooper, saying friggin this and that, typing cuss words like Noble, etc… This is very important to me because it feeds on human nature and rebellion.

  6. Albert Jul 8, 2009 10:26 am


    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the “relevance” comment.

    If you twitter, you should twitter that to PN. If you play on his favored medium, maybe he’ll listen.

  7. David J Jul 8, 2009 10:38 am

    I’ve tried to Twitter him several times.

  8. KeithO Jul 8, 2009 8:29 pm


    Your first post ignores a simple principal: a person being attacked always believes they are being attacked unjustly. I know of no one who has ever been attacked that thought they were attacked justly. Me included.

    I think David is right; it is hard for us to see our own errors. Maybe that’s why ignoring criticism seems to be the popular approach.

    Believe me. There are many people who honestly believe they can do no wrong, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary.

  9. Ben Milstead Jul 12, 2009 11:03 am

    This is the last day I read Pajama Pages. I really hope all of you gentlemen will watch the Newspring service from today. You can watch live today or recorded from Tuesday on. This group will find it very interesting and will hopefully learn something as I did.

    • James Duncan Jul 12, 2009 11:28 am


      Is this just a general invitation for us all to attend NS, or is there really something special about the message today? What should we be looking for?

  10. JT Jul 12, 2009 9:01 pm

    J. Duncan,

    Yes, the message today was about addressing our own sins and the sins of other Christians. Noble discussed the “Judge not…” myth, among other topics.

    There was even a bit at the end about whose criticism you should accept. To paraphrase Noble, he said you should listen to criticism when it is coming from someone that you know loves Jesus and loves you.

    Listen to the sermon when you get a chance.

  11. KeithO Jul 12, 2009 11:45 pm


    Assuming your paraphrase is correct, there now appears to be a link to constructive critcism that suggests it can only can come from Christians. And not just any christian, but a christian that loves you.

    In our lives we receive criticism from many people; husbands, wives, children (especially children), co-workers, bosses, just to name a few. All these have their own motivations which may or may not be related entirely to our individual welfare. And we can easily sweep all this criticism aside on the basis of the critics motivation and never get to the point of asking ourselves is the criticism true? Is it helpful to me? Does it correct a wrong?

    Advice and criticism are related cousins, and we ultimately choose to accept what is being said or not. That’s part of taking responsibility. The way to do that is to separate the criticism from the motivation, and deal with the criticism, because it may be valid, no matter where or from whom it came from or for whatever reason it was given.

    Balaam took council from a talking donkey that God empowered. Is it really a stretch to think that God would empower and use anyone (or anything) to speak words that helps us in our walk with Christ? And if the criticism is true and helpful, why would the critics motivation even be a consideration in whether you choose to accept it or not?

    Let’s also not forget that human nature being what it is, if we reject someone’s motivation, we give ourselves permission to reject what they say without further thought. At worst, we also give ourselves permission to feel superior for having done so.

Comments are closed.