Not only is it important that we guard against criticism in order to prevent burnout, it is also necessary to not criticize others and burn them out. One of the best ways to avoid becoming a critic is to instead become very good at giving feedback.
How can we deal effectively with criticism so that it doesn’t contribute to burnout? While there is no magic formula or simple recipe, there are some best practices. See how many of these four best practices work well for you.
Ministry is a rich and rewarding vocation—until it’s not. For most of the ministry leaders I know, any idyllic notions they had of life as a pastor lasted about three weeks into their call. The honeymoon phase of ministry ends and real life sets in as the tide of warm smiles and kind compliments goes out, leaving behind rocks of criticism and complaint. If you’re lucky in ministry life you will be buoyed along with enough compliments and encouragement, only occasionally experiencing the pain that comes from stepping on a sharp rock of criticism. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll grimace with every step because overly critical people litter your way with painful remarks and sharp jabs.
American exceptionalism is the notion that America is special among the nations. This notion has deep theological roots, tracing at least as a far back as John Withrop’s famous “A Model of Christian Charity” sermon in 1630 during which he cast a vision for his fellow Massachusetts Bay colonists to embrace their role in establishing a “city upon a hill” – an image taken directly from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:14).
Sometimes in the life of the church we need to reclaim a forgotten or dormant teaching. My sense is that now is such a time and that the teaching we need to dust off and put into practice is celibacy. Celibacy is not a very popular idea. We Protestants see the Catholic Church overdoing it…Continue reading Three Cheers for Celibacy