5 Tips to Handle Negative Online Reviews for Churches


The church can be a pretty encouraging place. So when negative reviews start to pop up online, it can be a little jarring. Knowing how to handle this is critical to your ministry and community. Ignoring them is not an option.

As written by Steffi Erbilgin in her blog entitled ‘5 Ways to Mindfully Handle Negative Comments,’ (Erbilgin, 2017) an individual could be the most talented, entertaining, sweetest soul on Earth, and yet still be confronted with negative comments. No one is immune.

Here are 5 expert tips that can help you mindfully deal with any negative comments that come your way.

#1: Keep a running list of all positive comments. Whether it’s a comment buried in a paragraph of criticism, or anything that you find that makes you feel good. The idea is to create a go-to list of real, positive phrases that you can revert back to when you’re feeling attacked.

#2: Ignore all mean-spirited feedback or feedback given in response to a misinterpretation. Especially if something has no relevance to what you put out, don’t engage. Don’t entertain. As Steffi mentioned, cruel or personal attacks can be difficult to stomach; but remember anything of this nature is only a reflection on the critic, not you.

#3: With as much detachment as possible look for any truth behind critiques and criticism, even if it was given in a less pleasant way. Help doesn’t always come sugar-coated. Responding to that truth with humility goes a long way in showing outsiders what kind of organization you are.

#4: Dig deeper, personally, and privately reach out to your critic. This sounds intimidating, but there’s a world of potential knowledge to be had by taking this route. You want to contact someone who seems like they have genuinely helpful thoughts or concerns.

#5: Make sure you reply to as many positive comments as possible. Show people that you care and are interested in them. If they took the time to post something, then you can take a minute to thank them.