You can jump into the larger conversation on the importance of criticism in ministry here.
Criticism makes you feel isolated.
Maybe it is because before we step into the professional world we can insulate ourselves from criticism fairly easily. We grow up mainly hearing positive things and if we are good enough at something: sports, music, school, etc. we can focus on the positive reinforcement.
So that first time you are criticized it feels very lonely and it feels like you are the first one to ever experience it.
As a Rookie Pastor criticism is inevitable. Feeling like you are the only one to go through it doesn’t have to be.
There are others in your church and in your larger community who know exactly what you are going through. After awhile you will figure out that every town, suburb or neighborhood you minister in has a very distinct culture. As you get started you need to have a relationship with other pastors in the area for moments just like this. They have been around longer than you and can key you into the culture a bit helping you understand the priorities and perspectives that are dominate. Plus they can empathize with you because they have been criticized for some of the same stuff.
When we overlook the other leaders around us because of pride or because we are intimidated we only encourage that lonely feeling to set in once criticism pops up. Leadership is lonely enough as it is, don’t make it harder on yourself.
The isolation that we feel or the defensiveness that we sit in when criticism comes doesn’t create a situation where we learn from it. You can’t hear the truth in the critique when you are too busy feeling sorry for yourself. We lack a proper perspective in these moments as we go it alone. In talking with others who have been down this path we can begin to take on that more constructive perspective because we see that we aren’t the first one to have to deal with something like this.