What's your stance on panda conservation? Several people I know think it's a huge waste of money and effort.
I like pandas, they’re cute. In an ideal world, sure, I’d love to see energy put into keeping them on this planet for us to coo over. Unfortunately, we’ve got limited energy and limited resources and I really think that we need to focus on conserving species that play a more critical role in their environments, rather than on cute megafauna that don’t do much more than chew on weird grass.
Our elders have been warning us about this for generations now—they saw the unsustainability of settler society immediately. Societies based on conquest cannot be sustained, so yes, I do think we’re getting closer to that breaking point for sure. We’re running out of time. We’re losing the opportunity to turn this thing around. We don’t have time for this massive slow transformation into something that’s sustainable and alternative. I do feel like I’m getting pushed up against the wall. Maybe my ancestors felt that 200 years ago or 400 years ago. But I don’t think it matters. I think that the impetus to act and to change and to transform, for me, exists whether or not this is the end of the world. If a river is threatened, it’s the end of the world for those fish. It’s been the end of the world for somebody all along. And I think the sadness and the trauma of that is reason enough for me to act.
hhhhh time for Andromeda spoilers, look away children if you don’t want to see it but mom is about to go off
I feel like I’m weirdly alone with my not really liking Reyes Vidal??? like yeah, he’s a fun character, kind of reminds me of a slimier, more queer Han Solo (which is a concept of which normally I would be absolutely a fan), but I just started reading Nexus Uprising, and it’s really making me sympathize with Sloane Kelly more and more with each chapter??
like I’m only a good three chapters in, and I literally cannot see a character like her doing the things she does on Kadara (and on the Nexus) without a GOOD FKIN REASON?????
Come on, she’s a badass, fair, and all around awesome, strong woman of color (with a very obvious crush on Jien Garson), her reason for coming to Andromeda is to get the chance to start over in the spirit of interspecies cooperation and justice, AND she was willing to place her trust in Ryder (you don’t have to like someone or kiss their ass to recognize that they’re capable and trustworthy), AND fairly duel someone who has been a thorn in her side for god knows how long??????????? I don’t yet know in what direction the story is going to take her, but I’m already pissed that her being deceived and murdered in cold blood while you’re standing idly by is universally seen as the better decision, because the slimy liar of a dude who had her murdered is more charismatic than she is and says some pretty words (that frankly I do not believe) about keeping peace. (And he still continued to extort money from the colonists and people on Kadara kept murdering each other even after his violent coup so honestly what the literal fuck does putting his ass in charge really change.)
This is beginning to feel like another Empress Celene situation when a fundamentally good woman is punished by death (by player and narrative alike, because standing by and letting someone get killed even though you could stop it makes you an accomplice and you can’t tell me it doesn’t because it fkin does) because of a decision they were forced to make in a situation where no decision they could have made would have been “good”.
@bioware please give better treatment to your actually morally grey female leader figures and kindly stop giving me the option to murder them while slapping a coat of pastel pink “this is a good choice” paint on it
“Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” - Bob Marley (Pisces IC/Virgo MC)
Growing up a Pisces IC meant being oblivious to your surroundings. Pisces IC’s as children were extremely sensitive to their family environment. Their family had a huge impact on them growing up, but at the same time things were kept hidden from them. Pisces IC’s may have been confused about the way they were growing up, possibly about the way their parents did things. In many cases, Pisces IC’s grow up with either parent being manipulative.
You, Pisces IC, not only had your family be distant from you by hiding things, but you too would take on this trait of distancing yourself or escaping.
Pisces IC’s usually find a way to escape and most times they do so through art, perhaps even learning. Pisces IC as children possess much creativity even if they aren’t aware of it. They could have an ear for music, excellent art skills or even decorating! Pisces IC’s do this form of escapism simply because they want peace. They want to escape reality, since they really don’t know what’s going on, and get lost in it. Most times, Pisces IC’s are too nice and unable to stand up for themselves or question things as children.
You simply didn’t want to question your living conditions or even criticize your family environment because you didn’t want conflict. You wanted to just forgive and forget about everything.
The Pisces IC child is truly kindhearted and compassionate. They are selfless and generous, so much that they could easily get taken advantage of. They never want to choose a side and could have been ones to easily get overwhelmed as children. Once overwhelmed, they would isolate themselves. But the Pisces IC child eventually gets tired of not standing up for themselves and gets tired of running away.
You don’t want to be scared anymore. You want answers and you want them now. It seems like the older you get, the more you realize things that you didn’t know and it eventually starts to make sense… but it’s usually far too late. You’re not afraid to voice your opinion now and you will question the system given the chance to. With an excellent eye for anything unjust, you will criticize and put your two cents in and it’s for the good of the people; who deserve answers. The eyes can know a lot by seeing a lot, but the soul is wiser because the soul has experienced.
And then Pisces IC, is when you shoot up to your Virgo Midheaven.
Jung’s typology suggests two forms of archetypal expression. One is
the introverted traits of the sign in question, the other being the
extroverted qualities. The introvert tends to experience the
rhythm of the sign on an intimate inner level and express the qualities
internally. The extrovert will be energized by their surroundings and
project the characteristics of the sign to the world.
Extroverted Aries: The
personal experience of the unknown is a conquest the individual must
uncover. The world is a place they can play, discover, and learn. The
spirit is independent, free, and enthusiastic. Is easily bored Introverted Aries: Seeks
to wander through the inner landscape and spends a lot of time
contemplating the self, actions, and complexes. Can self amuse alone
Extroverted Taurus: Sociable and relationship
oriented. Is comfortable and finds bliss in the midst of sensory
stimulation. Is harmonized by spending time in nature. Looks to create a
place of comfort for somebody. Appreciates material Introverted Taurus: Enjoys
spending time alone in the blissful comfort. Wanders through a rich
inner experience. The internal kingdom is wealthy. Wants to create a
sanctuary to hideaway. Easily sensory overloaded. Is more concerned with
developing inner riches then material
Extroverted Gemini: The
mental agility and wit is obvious to anybody who comes to know them.
Relishes in conversation. Easily relates to other people. Introverted Gemini: Is
constantly having conversations with the self rather than other people.
Prefers to study and learn alone. Is talkative only with those they
come to know very well
Extroverted Cancer: Maternal and
protective, seeks to create a palace they can nurture others in. Is
harmonized by the rich spiritual inner world. Devotes their lives to
nourishing other people and providing a home. Expresses emotions Introverted Cancer: Finds
a home within and energizes through the profound inner world. Seeks to
create a sanctuary they can hideaway in. Internalizes emotions. Very
sensitive and fearful of abandonment
Extroverted Leo: Radiant
and self expressive, creative and playful. The world is a place of
miracles and a stage where they can shine. Is validated by an audience.
The ego is easily bruised Introverted Leo: Flowing inner glow.
The individual can be quite self conscious and fear showing creations
to others. Seeks validation only from people who come to know them well
Extroverted Virgo: Communicative
and clever, service oriented and disciplined. The individual devotes
energy to assisting others and applying intellect to practical problems.
Is critical of the environment and self Introverted Virgo: Is
mostly critical of the self and lets silence do the talking for them.
Can be very locked away and internalized. Does not vocalise easily
Extroverted Libra: Relationship
oriented and collaborative, everything is about teamwork and coaxing
others. Friendships provide weights of success Introverted Libra: Prefers
one or two close friends and can experience self consciousness and
reticence socialising. Wants somebody they can be ‘alone’ with
Extroverted Scorpio: Openly
passionate and commanding, self assured and talented. Seeks to explore
the hidden world and symbolism. Longs for the soul satisfaction of two
astral bodies merging sexually Introverted Scorpio: Spends
most time alone, unable to relate to others. The peak experience can
come in solitude. The inner world is a place of exploration with rich
divinity. They are energized by internal dwellings
Extroverted Sagittarius: The
world is an atlas they want to explore every feature of. Participates
in the joy and movement of the universe. Finds what we call ‘God’ in
nature, experiences, and surroundings. Learns through nature/instiution Introverted Sagittarius: Seeks
to explore the far reaching inner landscape. Comes to spiritual
revelation alone. Can be retiring and intensely reflects on personal
experiences. Prefers to take internal travels. Adventures are coming to
profound self revelation, enjoys learning in solitude
Extroverted Capricorn: Guardian
spirit and ambitious, commanding leadership, sacrificial and diligent.
The world is their sculpture and dreams are to be followed. They want to
conquer the world Introverted Capricorn: Wants to conquer the
battle of themselves. Can be the quiet achiever. Internalized and self
conscious. Works on upskilling privately
Extroverted Aquarius: Surrounded
by adoring friends and comes alive amongst company. Loves to share
ideas. Openly and passionately humanitarian. Unusual and offbeat
expression Introverted Aquarius: The eccentric dances within.
Prefers the company of very few, if any friends. Circulates ideas
internally. Assists people in very personal ways
Extroverted Pisces: Dynamic
and sociable, charming and openly spiritual. The individual searches
for God in everyday life and exhibits natural healing properties,
experiences sensory delight and tremendous creativity, Introverted Pisces: Spends
most time alone contemplating the inner world, keeps creations
personal, searches for God internally, is withdrawn socially, feels
abandoned and unable to properly relate to others
The one thing that truly, really annoys me about Su critical is that: they assume they know everything about whats going on behind the scenes, and they think its easy and simple to fix the problems with the show.
and they think that because they “know” everything, they get a free pass to harass and constantly complain to the crew themselves, for even the most minor infractions (i.e. Lauren Zuke not putting in as much effort in their ep promo even though they told people theyre quitting the show because of “a bad atmosphere” cough cough thats yall). But it’s not that simple.
There are a lot of other forces besides the crew themselves, and honestly, yall should be grateful the creators make themselves that available for you.
Let’s check off a list of potential forces besides the main US based crew themselves
The south korean studio who: do most of the actual animation, and usually handle the final product (not that they’re responsible for bad quality, but if they get paid less, it might happen)
Budget: Look at the difference between Batman, the animated series, and The Mask of Phantasm movie in terms of everything. Do that with mostly any media, actually. Budget is a big part of everything, and as we are, I don’t really think any of us can truly wrap our heads around what kind of budget would be needed to make SU a great show or if theyre wasting it and messing it up themselves
Run time: Fucking. Eleven minutes. For a plot based, moral based show. Writing is gonna get shitty quick with that limited run time. I get a lot of you are like, “they shouldn’t even try if they cant do it right” but trying and failing is actually a lot better than not at all because it gives us some stepping stones to work with. Run time is usually decided by network. As well as when it is aired, which affects ratings, and in term, affect budget.
Cartoon Network itself: like Disney, this channel can and will do a lot of editing, censoring, and changing to episodes to make them family friendly. over all, we have seen them been better than Disney in these terms as of late. but they still might change things last minute, might not allow certain things. They are a network that likes to experiment, I think, but dont always follow through. (see, bubbline being hinted but being nearly retconned, but then more gay couples appearing in the background and foreground afterwards in other shows of theirs.) Recently, I feel like trying to explore the topic of gender is something that’s been hard to get with for them, though they are allowing things in (see: that one horrible ppg episode, and that good adventure time episode).
I’m not saying that these forces take any and all blame and responsibility out of the crews hands. It doesn’t. But a lot of them can explain why and how things turn out the way they do in this show, and why I feel like certain members of “critical” environments arent actually using their critical thinking skills. Because I understand not making model sheets to stick to is irresponsible, but saying the show is terf propaganda because of an episode that couldn’t really explain how cultural appropriation works quickly and how it hurts people in a well done manner (though I feel it did so with Rocknaldo) is very extreme and honestly hurtful to the crew because you’re trying to insinuate the crew are bad people because they arent always the best together or doing that well at their jobs
Hit the Road with #mypubliclandsroadtrip 2016 – Week 1, Places That Rock!
For the geologists, rock collectors and earth science lovers, this week is for you. The #mypubliclandsroadtrip 2016 heads out to find Places That Rock! on your public lands. All week, roadtrip stops will feature landscapes shaped by cool geological processes and formations – caves, volcanoes, hoodoos and more.
Our first stop is Sukakpak Mountain, one of the most visually stunning areas on BLM managed public lands along the Dalton Highway in northern Alaska (MP 203). A massive wall of Skajit Limestone rising to 4,459 feet (1,338 m) that glows in the afternoon sun, Sukakpak Mountain is an awe-inspiring sight. Peculiar ice-cored mounds known as palsas punctuate the ground at the mountain’s base. “Sukakpak” is an Inupiat word meaning “marten deadfall.” As pictured here from the north, the mountain resembles a carefully balanced log used to trap marten.
Sukakpak Mountain was designated in 1990 as a BLM Area of Critical Environmental Concern or ACEC to protect extraordinary scenic and geologic formations.
This is in no way meant to be critical. A person's environment does effect who they become and I am not saying Graves is abhorrently evil. I don't think he would take a beggars cup of coins. Though, I am going to mention that Graves is wanted all over the known world. He and TF committed a notorious bank heist in Piltover which included stealing a cargo ship. Those things alone could have cost hundreds of people their livelihood. Jobs, homes and vital funds for essentials. That's pretty ugly.
//Of course friend. A person’s environment does affect who they become that is very true and what you mention is valid. I’m not saying Graves is a super kind hearted man who just wants to get by. Of course not ahaha hes a lil shit, but you can’t also forget Yasuo has also done some fucked up shit - and still does, in the views of the people of Ionia.
Think of how many people Yasuo has killed. Was his brother a bad person? No of course not. I think the question here isnt about what they do. Its the why. I don’t think Graves has many thoughts about the consequences of his actions - he probably didnt give a shit about the issues his heist would bring. It happened and sadly Graves doesnt have a reason to change, like Yasuo did. Yasuo learned how obnoxious he truly was when his whole life took a turn. That was his wake up call. Otherwise Im p sure he would be a very different man than he is.
Graves doesnt set out to directly harm people. He has a bad habit and he doesnt know better. And from the get go, of course, Graves and Yasuo would have trouble getting along… but what is a good relationship without its conflicts? Thats where development comes in and not in a point where it would break Graves as a character - we all know turning Graves away from his criminal life would be character breaking. And I think as much as Graves, Yasuo still has that knack for getting into trouble. Its not something he would dislike about him. I believe there isnt a lot needed. Just a slight adjustment to keep what Graves does best and make it work for a fair cause would be already enough to clear that up between the two.
I don’t think Yasuo cares a lot about a person’s past. It would be hipocritical if he did. I think a bad past would surely make him wary, but I think he cares about change. Graves isnt necessarily a bad person, as you stated. Hes more of a reckless one and hey, wasnt Yasuo like that years ago?
So yeah! Take this as playing robin hood - except the ‘give to the poor’ part.
Also yo I dont mind the arguments, trust me Im super happy discussing these things so long as they are put in a civil and fair manner.
39. What recharges them when they’re feeling drained?
“Disconnection is an art,” she thinks sitting back in her chair. Her journal is open and she scans the words she has recently penned. She’s a reflective person, someone who needs plenty of time and space to … think. The more stress and pressure in Kitt’s life, the more likely she is to retreat, shrink her life, her relationships, her tasks into smaller, bite sized pieces.
Her environment is critically important - she craves beauty, organization, good music … or complete quiet. She likes nature; the ocean, the forest, mountain tops - places where others seldom walk. Solitude is an intimate friend.
Physical activity, sparring, dance, riding … her yoga mat. Such are the things that return Kitt to center.
Virgo Risings are highly critical of the environment going on around them. They notice their surroundings more than most people, especially the flaws in their surroundings. Virgo Risings have a keen eye for picking up on the tiny details others miss.
It’s been a while since I wrote about GamerGate. Every once in a while someone will still email me about it, sometimes in response to my plea for both “sides” to defend themselves, though I admit a certain disappointment in many of the replies. It’s not that they are poorly written, but as a general trend they have shifted toward a new claim, “GamerGate is damaging the gaming industry”, which never comes with as much defense as I would like.
As forewarning, this post isn’t particularly thought-out or well-structured; it’s just me sharing some general thoughts.
I guess I should explain where I’m coming from here. Back when I was a teenager, I used to be one of those internet art critic people. Like, you know the type: assholes who went out of their way to provide honest (if often overly harsh) criticism of every art piece someone had the gall to request feedback on. We rebelled against this thing we called, at the time, the “DeviantArt mentality”, where artists would exclusively get their feedback from a small group of friends who would positively regard their work no matter what. Most of us on the more critical side of things knew, from personal experience, that this behavior hindered artistic development and sort of took it upon ourselves to stamp it out.
As I got older, of course, I grew out of it. I realized, as I think most people eventually do, that it’s perfectly okay for someone to do something in a way they personally enjoy. The real issue with what we called the “DeviantArt mentality” was that it was not economically viable. A person who has their work coddled and never learns to appeal to a diverse and discerning crowd will not be able to compete adequately in a professional setting, their audience limited to that small group of friends (who are often artists in the exact same situation). As a result, you have a professional art community of people who expect and value candid and varied feedback, and a “hobbyist” community of people who are primarily interested in working for themselves or a small group of friends. This, I feel, is a working model.
If you read through my stuff, it’s pretty clear that I am very audience-focused. I talk about audience statistics a lot, as well as directly interact with fans at every possible opportunity. I don’t spend a lot of time around other artists, even going so far as to avoid seriously participating in any “artist circles”, since I’ve learned many audience members hate the schism this drives between creators and their fans. My policy regarding these things is a simple one: I work for the chaotic and diverse mass of fans that consume my material, and generally stand against anything that discourages them from sharing their thoughts or feelings (since, you know, that’s what my model pivots on catering to).
I never really joined GamerGate, which is why it’s sort of weird when people lump me in with them. What I did was pretty much the same thing I always do: value audience members the same as content creators. When a whole bunch of people are upset about something and a creator says “nah, it’s fine”, my first instinct is to hear both sides out, because as far as I’m concerned neither one has more credibility. As I’ve stressed before, the people who attack me for my thoughts on GamerGate never actually address anything I say as being misinformation, they just attack me for “listening to 4chan/8chan/gamers/whatever”, which is incredibly unsettling because it conveys this idea that I should value certain people higher than others - not because they support their ideas better, but because they are inherently better.
Which I guess takes me back to this idea I mentioned at the beginning: GamerGate damaging the gaming industry. When people are defending this assertion, they point to the “angry mobs” with no coherent demands, the general level of vitriol flung at creators, and the privacy-crippling digging they do into their targets, etc. All through this, though, I’m just left thinking “Holy shit. This is my jam!”. This thing they’re complaining about is the exact environment I’m used to navigating - in fact, as far as I know, it’s the exact environment the gaming industry always had. When people point to all the horrible harassment developers “received from GamerGate”, it’s tamer than what I’ve gotten just by virtue of being a relatively popular creator. As someone who’s in this industry, the notion that GamerGate is ruining it makes no sense to me since nothing actually changed.
What seems more likely, to me, is that people stumbled outside their Artist Circles and hit a wild audience for the first time. They didn’t know how to handle a critical and diverse audience, they turned it antagonistic, and they don’t know how to deal with it. It would explain a lot of the behavior you see: demands to see some kind of GamerGate leader they can blame/complain to, assertions that abuse is okay when it’s against the “right” people, lamenting their own harassment when it’s pretty much the bog-standard someone gets from working with a mass audience, etc. From my perspective, it feels like these are fish-out-of-water, dealing directly with my industry for the first time.
I admit when I first started writing this, I considered whether I should be showing these people more sympathy. They are probably scared, I realized: flung headlong into a scary environment their more tightly-knit artist circle did not prepare them for. But, then I thought back to when I was a young artist, and the first time I encountered a harsh critic: I wasn’t a dick to him, I didn’t tell him his opinion was stupid, and I adapted to a critical environment pretty quickly. A lot of these people vehemently decrying GamerGate, however, are kind of accusatory dicks to these groups of individuals they label as “angry mobs”. I started to consider a different theory:
What if this is about privilege?
What if this is some group of well-connected, well-to-do people who are stepping into a hostile and critical environment for the first time and are completely ass-blasted that they are not inherently valued above others? What if these people are realizing, with horror, that this is an industry where their word is just as valuable as that of some random non-creator on an internet forum, and they’re trying to “fix” it by reinstating a hierarchy with them on top?
I mean, just speaking personally, there are a lot of things I like about GamerGate and its affect on the industry. I like that when a creator is accused of something, GG digs into it and tries to gather evidence. I like that they’re critical of reporting and have made their presence known as a massive, vaguely-united mob that will lash out and potentially gain dangerous credibility if faced with things that are verifiably false. They’ve been bringing a lot of ideologically diverse people together in an environment where they can typically discuss things without attempting to harm one another. They’ve been speaking out against the tendency to “speak for” minorities. Best of all, it makes it harder to prevail above your competitors with nothing but money and connections. These are all changes I wanted to see in the gaming industry. But, frankly, I can understand why a privileged dickwad would oppose every one of them.
This is just a theory, of course. I mean, all I know is that from my perspective, a bunch of kind of rude and dismissive people are coming in and attacking the group I consider to be my audience as being horrible monsters who don’t appreciate True Art or whatever. I’m not particularly worried, because as I’ve stated before this only facilitates the development of a niche, but I’m still kind of offended when people say GamerGate is damaging the industry or driving away minority developers. Like… I’m here; you can talk to me. I approve of the changes, and I just explained why. I know that some people will be driven away, but a lot of them are kind of assholes to their audience and I parse the hostility toward them the same way I’d parse a rude waiter getting fired by his boss.
I don’t know. Like I said, I’m an audience person; my primary concern is with the tastes and desires of the people who play my games. I wish people who talk about GamerGate damaging the industry would talk about how it damages it for people like me, because it feels like the focus is purely on making the industry comfortable for the exact type of people I oppose.
virgos can be critical of their environment, but they rarely let people know what is really bothering them. they will cover up their true feelings with “oh it’s just the hot weather”, or, “I didn’t get much sleep last night”. the virgo is uncomfortable with dramatic displays and rarely indulges in attention seeking behavior
… and it still has some rough edges, but it´s super late (read super early o_O) and I´m tired and this turned out to be way longer than I had originally planned. (I might edit this later though and put it on ff.net, so if you´d rather read it there just wait a few hours.)
To rest my head and trust the plan
“April, sweetie, are you okay?” Sara gave her oldest daughter a look of concern.
They were all seated at the kitchen island to eat dinner, but April was just absentmindedly pushing her food around, “yes, I´m just really tired, mom.”
Brenna glanced at her sister worriedly as she took another bite.
5 Ways To Encourage Your Pastor (Because He Needs It Like Everyone Else)
On Sunday evenings after church, when you’re watching the game or taking a huge monster-nap, your pastor is beating himself up for the entire Sunday service. Every mistake in the sermon, each typo in the bulletin, the joke that bombed, that shrill comment in the announcements – he’s replaying that loop in his head while wrapped in a snuggie and chowing down on cheese puffs.
I’m not trying to pull fake pity, but we often show grace for other people in the church for the same mistakes the pastor makes, but pull back such grace for the pastor.
Maybe we can show them a little grace, too.
Certainly there are some pastors who are not qualified. But most of us are trying our hardest, praying constantly, wanting the very best for you while remaining completely loyal to God’s calling. It’s not easy.
Here are five ways you can encourage your pastor.
1) Be real with your pastor. He wants to be real with you, too.
There’s a weird moment when you see your teacher or your boss for the first time at a grocery store or a movie theater. Suddenly, we realize they have a life. They don’t just live in a dungeon with their work
clothes thinking about how to make your life harder. They kick off their
shoes one foot at a time. They occupy the same world of Facebook and
iPhones. They even have the same needs.
I don’t always want to talk theology – sometimes I just want to eat a hamburger with you and be a human.
Your pastor has the same hopes and hobbies and insecurities that all of us do. He certainly has a huge anointing, but he’s
still just a regular guy. He crumbles at criticism. He has his own
family. He gets tired and discouraged and sick. He probably watches the
same TV shows that you do. He understands that reference to Doctor Who. And he will talk with you all day about these things. Not in a weird spiritualized way, but just to laugh, to listen, to enjoy. He occasionally needs room to take the label “Pastor” off the front of his name.
2) Assume the best of your pastor without expecting perfection.
Pastors are frail and fallible and have the same three lb. squishy brain that you do. We don’t get it right every time. We hate being put on a pedestal. We also hate it when others put words in our mouth or presume our motives: just like you would hate it, too.
There will be times when your pastor will say a shrill phrase in a sermon, or he’ll be frantic on Sunday mornings because of the packed schedule, or he’ll look uninterested during meetings. It’s possible that he’s exhausted from an entire week of hospital visits and weddings and graduations. Maybe he’s juggling a tough child at home with bills over his head and a family that doesn’t approve of him. Your pastor has a whole life of worries and priorities, on top of leading a group of uniquely hurting people.
Most pastors I know are truly trying their best, giving their all, using all the time they have to take care of both their own family and their church. Just as with anyone else, I would give the benefit of the doubt and offer a very wide grace.
3) Let your pastor know if he did something right.
Many of us live in an environment of criticism in which we only look for what went wrong. At the workplace, there are entire meetings devoted to picking apart all the shortcomings of the business operations. This is not only shortsighted, but extremely damaging to the entire workforce.
People need to know what went right, even more than what they got wrong. You can only correct mistakes for next time – but you can build on the things that worked and celebrate those steps forward.
I remember once telling my pastor after a remarkably great sermon that I loved how he handled the Scripture. He asked specifically what I meant. We went over it together. For the next two months, he took my suggestions and preached some of the best sermons of his life. He was able to improve because I was able to speak strength into him. Before then, I had only been harsh and critical about his speaking – but after, I understood how crucial it was to construct instead of deconstructing all the time.
I don’t mean to toot my own here, but pastors often live in a brutally punishing culture in which they only hear from their congregants when things go bad. They rarely hear when something went well or they said the right thing in a sermon. While pastors are not doing this for approval, no person is meant to be starved of encouragement for too long.
Since at least half a pastor’s job deals with words, then words are hugely important to them: and your words of grace can cultivate the best out of a pastor and nourish him in those difficult seasons of ministry. Text, call, email, or social media: even a quick hello will fill his heart.
4) Trust and encourage your pastor’s vision.
Imagine you plant a church in your city. You’ve been praying for months, even years, to get every detail just right, from the schedule to the stage to the budget to the calendar to the mission statement. Suddenly you’re inundated with hundreds of different opinions about how your church ought to be – and each opinion is just as different as the last.
This is a tricky area. On one hand, the church doesn’t belong to any one person, including the pastor. Everyone has the right to a voice. It’s so unlike a business, since it’s a place filled with volunteers and no one can really be “fired.” But the pastor is anointed to lead a fragmented group of people with different walks of life while also listening to their concerns and serving their individual needs, all under one vision. It’s ridiculously hard to balance, and no one can understand it until you’re there.
In my experience, many congregants assume they can lead better than their pastor, but they also don’t want the dirty responsibility of serving and listening. Your pastor has to do both: to lead and to listen. He’s trying to think about the whole church. The vision he’s excited for will often require a lot of patience and perseverance. It’ could sound messy, impractical, or overzealous.
But instead of shooting it down too fast, consider what it would look like if every person in the church could get behind the leadership, who has been praying more than anyone else, and to simply be unified by this Christ-appointed direction. It’ll be tough. It won’t get quick results. But that’s part of trusting your pastor, that he has really thought this out for the most fruitful impact for your people and your city.
5) Pray for your pastor like crazy.
Ask your pastor, “How can I pray for you this week?”
Watch his jaw drop.
We almost never get asked about our prayer needs. We never get to vent. How much do we share? When does weakness look like disqualification? When does “struggling” look like selfishness? We’re scared to share. We’re scared to look like we don’t have it together.
Prayer opens the space for grace and vulnerability. It allows us to be real, to exchange our viewpoints by sharing our needs.
It’s a simple question. It will change the way you see your pastor. It will humanize him. It will bring him to ground level. Just ask. Then pray.