This post is part-2 of a conversation that we began together last week. It would be worth checking out part-1 of this post to catch up. So let’s go ahead and dive back into how you can know you’re heading towards burnout.
Has ministry become a task?
Remember when you got out of bed excited to go to work? Remember when your heart raced with enthusiasm and passion for the Church? Remember when your heart broke and you wept for the lost? What happened to that? I’ve heard countless guys joke that, “Ministry would be easy if it weren’t for the people.” Well ministry is people, and while working with people can be complex, frustrating, and even disheartening at times to put it mildly. It can also be incredibly rewarding and yes, it’s all worth it! Perhaps it would be helpful to go back and remember those early days of calling and why you surrendered to follow God in ministry in the first place.
Has prayer become a burden?
One of the first indicators that you’re heading towards potential burnout is a dry prayer life. It’s impossible to have relational intimacy and true friendship with the Father without regular ongoing communication. Take a moment and do some evaluation of your prayer life based on this basic roadmap for healthy relationships, “safety leads to openness and openness leads to intimacy.” By the way, if your relationship with the Father is drying up my guess is that your relationships with people who have skin on are pretty thin right now too.
Do you have less energy, less joy, more anxiety, and more cynicism these days?
As you’ve searched the scriptures, have you ever found an occurrence where in which God actually led anyone to anxiety, exhaustion, despair, or to lose heart? Yea, me neither. But if that in fact is what you’ve been experiencing lately than maybe a good question to ask yourself is who or what have you been following? Because if you remember the words of Christ sounded something like this, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
6 Easy steps you can take to prevent burnout:
#1 Actually take your time off – I know…sounds like rocket science doesn’t it
#2 Keep your spiritual disciplines fresh – just do what works for you
#3 Exercise on a regular basis – walk away from the gaming system
#4 Get in a Small Group or around some people who are safe – relational isolation will lead you to a bad place every time
#5 Schedule time for reading, reflection, and writing – if you’re not a learner you can’t be taught
#6 Learn to have some fun – or get some friends who can teach you how to do this
Ultimately this conversation comes down to the issue of self care and learning how to pay attention to your soul. And my hope would be that these thoughts would push us towards further introspection and personal health. Because at the end of the day, the people the Lord has placed in our care deserve to have healthy leaders.
Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation