Question: Preventing Burnout?



Hey Josh!

I believe everyone has their own natural rhythm, and they need to discover it.

On one hand, I believe in working hard, even pushing yourself, to get the work done.  Ministry is hard work and it requires our full engagement.  Fierce warriors like Paul, Peter, Ruth, Rahab, David, and Deborah got the work done.

But this can also become idolatrous, harmful, and create a messiah complex.  So we need to know when we are approaching fatigue and resentment.  We need to rest before we get there. Any ministry worker has to guard their time wisely and know when to say NO.  We can’t save everyone, help everyone, and do all things all at once.  I can only do a few things with effectiveness.  It hurts me to say no, but I would rather be abrupt than dead. 

Honestly, I don’t answer every question in my inbox. Maybe half. It would be impossible to answer everyone. I really wish I could — but I am one dude (I know how this makes me sound, and trust me, I know I’m a nobody begging for wisdom from the Only One who has it).

In a church setting, this means building up leaders who build up leaders.  It means making disciples.  If you’re a pastor or elder or teacher, then yes, try to make time for everyone — but prioritize that, and don’t feel bad for referring them to someone else who can do a better job.  I can’t counsel a WWII veteran or a seriously drug-addicted prostitute, and I would be foolish to try.

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Quote: Grace, Who You Are

Grace is not simply a “hiding” — or even a mere forgiveness of your sinfulness. Grace is not just a cover up — as if God, the great Santa Claus in the sky, is covering his eyes from your wrongdoings — acting as if they don’t exist. He’s not choosing to put you on the “nice” list when you deserve the “naughty” list. Grace does not hide God’s eyes from your sinfulness. That’s what we’ve been taught — but the true Gospel is far better.

Grace actually eradicates sinfulness itself. It’s not a cover up — instead, it’s an absolute removal of your old heart…On the Cross, your sinfulness itself was destroyed in His death. Your old sinful self was co-crucified together with Christ. Grace mystically transformed your identity from a sinner to a saint. There’s no mixture left.

Grace does not merely “cut you slack ” while leaving you with indwelling sinfulness. Grace fully nailed that indwelling sinfulness to the tree — your entire old corrupt nature was abolished as a free gift (Romans 6; Galatians 2:20).

What I am saying is that there is nothing left for you to do, but simply be who you are — that perfect new you who is one spirit with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17). Now your chief end is to glorify God, simply by enjoying Him forever. As John Piper often says, “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.

— John Crowder