Ministry burnout is epidemic!
Burnout is a widespread problem in many careers but it is particularly common in positions of ministry leadership.
I define burnout as the state of mental exhaustion from long term stress. The most common symptoms are chronic fatigue, loss of future vision or enthusiasm for the job and the feeling of being trapped on a treadmill.
There are many reasons why burnout is so common in ministry. Here are a few.
Pastoral ministry in particular is not a well defined job. Everyone has a different expectation of what you should be doing. That means there will always be someone dissatisfied with your performance. You have to be prepared for constant criticism. You are expected to recruit and lead volunteers but there is no authority structure to work with like there would be in a corporation. Pastors wear too many hats like teacher, administrator, fundraiser, counsellor and custodian. There are few boundaries on your time. There is an expectation that you have to always be available to everyone.
In this presentation you will learn how God wants to rescue you from burnout and rekindle the flame for leadership.
So how can you survive?
The most important truth to embrace is that it is not your church. It’s God’s. You are the shepherd not the owner.
What are you doing about your own spiritual and emotional growth? If you’re not growing, your people won’t be either. You can’t lead where you haven’t gone first. What are you modeling? Don’t expect them to walk in victory if you aren’t.
Find someone to talk to where it’s safe to unload. I suggest a professional counsellor. They will give you objective advice and hold you accountable. Deal with your own emotional baggage or it will spill into all your teaching and relationships. The counsellor can help you with this too.
Set boundaries so you don’t get too engulfed with other people’s problems. Know when to refer them to professionals for help. We have many resources that you can use in home groups for those needing emotional recovery. I can come to your area and teach transformation seminars. These tools will save you time, energy and frustration.
Make your marriage a top priority. Ministry starts first in your home.
The key to preventing burnout in ministry is Ex. 33:14, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”
Effective ministry only takes place when God is present and active. When he is working, you can relax. When you make it your highest priority to live and work in God’s presence he will refresh you daily.
Leadership Q & A
- What is the best church growth strategy?
- Are you burning out?
- Is suicide the unpardonable sin?
- Can a person be too supportive of your ministry?
- Are you afraid of psychiatry?
- What is the unpardonable sin?
- Is fear a sin?
- Is counselling your gift?
- What is the key question to ask?
- Does depression have spiritual symptoms?
- Is your church “seeker friendly?”