“I won’t burn out!” Have you ever said those words?
Yep, me too. They were a lie that I said many times over and over during the 30 years I’ve been in full-time ministry. A few years ago I was serving in a very unhealthy place. To be honest, I wasn’t the only staff member who was unhealthy. I had allowed myself to become physically, emotionally, and spiritually unhealthy.
What are the signs? anger, bitterness, fake joy, critical attitude, and spirit, judgemental, just to name a few things. When you are on the verge of ministry burnout, you’ll find yourself going through the motions of ministry praying that no one notices that you are faking it until you make it.
What can you do to prevent burnout?
- Set clear and realistic priorities and goals.- Let’s face it we are a goal driven society, we in ministry are always worried about numbers, budget, critical people, programs and we often set goals in these areas that are just not realistic. I believe in setting “God-sized” goals but let’s remember that God is the only one that can meet those goals. We must set real goals that as we walk with God, we see accomplished.
- Set a Sabbath on your calendar and don’t let anything cancel it!- We all struggle at times to get to service and so it is absolutely vital to set up a sabbath appointment with God and don’t let anything interfere with that meeting. Get alone with God and worship, vent, rejoice, and feast on his Word.
- Get Healthy physically!- I gained almost 100 lbs and my vitals were terrible, the stress alone was having major effects on my body. I had hives, and swelling all over my body. I stopped working out, being active and it hurt me, my family, and my ministry. That has changed big time for me. Several months ago, I started a journey to lose weight and I have had great success but my journey doesn’t end when I reach my goal weight. It stays with me the rest of my days here on earth.
- Set healthy and solid boundaries.- You must protect your time, talent, and treasure by setting boundaries of what you will and won’t do with each of these. We should be leading others to stay healthy by making sure we understand how to use our time. When we should use our talents or delegate it to someone with even greater talents. WE should make sure our financial state is one that honors God with how it’s used.
I have more to share but this will do for now. I believe if you start with a few steps, health will come. It won’t change overnight but it will change…. unless you do nothing.
How do you prevent burnout?