rosemarychungphotography asked a question:
How do you deal with church burn out (exhausted from serving, attending church, etc.) and the pain associated with it?
Hey my dear friend, thank you so much for your honesty.
Four quick thoughts on church burn-out:
1) Please be absolutely honest about what’s going on.
Please talk with your pastor, your leaders, your team. I don’t mean that we can go around saying “This church is burning me out.” But sometimes simply talking it out can both release your clenched burden and also help navigate your feelings. While complaining can be toxic, keeping it in is even more unhealthy. Have a time with your pastor when you can say every single thing that’s on your mind, no matter how small you may feel it is.
2) Consider taking a long break.
At the very least, please continue attending your Sunday service, but at the very most, please consider stepping down from any kind of plugged in ministry. This feels impossible for most people because we think either things will fall apart without us or that we’re being unfair to the team. But what’s more unfair to yourself is to keep serving despite emptiness, and the worst thing is that you would fall apart while serving. Everyone needs a sabbatical. Your church will be fine with or without our serving; God is still sovereign. You deserve a break.
3) Consider serving in a different position or delegating duties.
I find that many people who burn out were serving in positions they were never meant for, or they kept serving too “broadly” by not delegating their responsibilities. Ask your leaders to change it up. Sometimes serving in a different position will also help you see what others are doing, which will help to resolve any bitterness you may feel towards other teams and members.
4) Please don’t give up, and pace yourself.
Serving is hard work. While the Bible will continually tell us to rest, to be restored, and to be renewed, there are also just as many passages that say we must do everything with all our might and to deny ourselves in service of others. It was never going to be easy. I’m certain you know this already, but I think the hard part is knowing our own pacing. We do need regularly scheduled rest and at least one sabbath per week. We also need to pour out our very best with the gifts we have. So when you can rest, do absolutely nothing and be content with silence. When you are serving, do absolutely all you can and be filled by His strength. There’s a rhythm for this, and we all have a different tempo to recharge, and I pray you’ll find what works for you.
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