The living God has made us to reflect the Creator’s wise stewardship and reflect the praises of all creation back to its Maker. This is the key to flourishing. But humans have turned their vocation upside down, giving worship and allegiance to forces and powers within creation itself.
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.
While Pacific Northwest cities frequently rate at the top of charts when it comes to being un-churched, they simultaneously rank exceedingly high in terms of the number of churches per capita. For example, Seattle ranks #2, nationwide, in terms of the number churches per capita, as well as ranking #2 in terms of the percentage of residents who are religiously unaffiliated. Such statistics suggest that the problem in the Pacific Northwest is not a dearth of churches. Rather, the issue seems to be that the churches we do have are dying.
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.
For reasons generally related to religious aversion, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has long been dubbed “spiritually dark,” and, more recently, the “None Zone.” Here, ‘darkness’ and ‘absence’ are words used to describe the spiritual environment of the region. However, I suggest we consider a different word to describe the PNW: grey—a term that captures a particular attitude toward life . . . a mundane, humdrum, dullish mood about the nature of everyday reality.