How To Battle Ministry Burnout
Ministry is one of the most rewarding yet challenging occupations. Ministry is 24/7 and continually emotionally and physically draining. If you're reading this and you're currently battling ministry burnout, you are not alone. Those of us serving in ministry often feel that we must have it all together and put on a happy face for those around us. Burnout is rarely discussed because no one wants to admit they are feeling weary from the everyday challenges of ministry.
Be encouraged and know that there's hope! Here are five steps to help you battle ministry burnout and remember why you first fell in love with ministry.
1. Long Term Goals with Short Term Action Steps - Many of us face ministry burnout because we don't know what we're working toward. Mondays may feel daunting because you have an extensive To Do list but no context of what you're working toward this week, this month, or this year. Establish long term goals with your ministry team that inspire you with a vision of what's ahead and why it matters. It's equally important to determine short term action steps for each of your long term goals so that you can see real-time, tangible examples of your long term goals coming to fruition. Achieving short term steps will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Take Care of Yourself - A church is only as healthy as the health of its leaders. Exercise, eat well, and be sure to spend time studying Scripture and participating in Biblical community. If you're constantly giving but not refueling, you're running on fumes. This may be easy to do in the short term, but it will catch up with you. Set aside time for a personal Sabbath where you can refuel and recenter yourself on your health, your family, and your walk with the Lord.
3. Seek Wisdom of Mentors - Enthusiasm is contagious! Surround yourself with other pastors and ministry leaders who are excited about their church. Seek community with those who have walked in your shoes and are thriving in ministry. They have most likely experienced the ministry burnout you're feeling and will have advice on ways they overcame it.
4. Be a Lifetime Learner - The more you know, the more you know what you don't know. Learning inspires growth and innovation. Read a new book on your area of ministry, take a new Bible class, and attend leadership conferences. It's more difficult to feel stagnant in your ministry when you're being challenged to try new things.
5. Pursue Your Passion - Be sure you're in a place in ministry that most aligns with your passion. Center your day about the part of your job you are most passionate about. If you're not currently in a position where you're able to pursue your passions, try talking with your leaders about how you can incorporate your passions into your daily responsibilities. You'll do your best work when you're doing what you love.
You will most likely experience ministry burnout at some point in your life, but it can just be a season if you proactively battle it. If you know someone who is experiencing burnout, pass this Insight along to them for help and encouragement.
What tips do you have for those who may be experiencing burnout?