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One of the biggest issues that both church staff and volunteers face is burnout. With good intentions, we load our plates with responsibilities throughout the church and before long the very sight of a steeple makes us exhausted. I’ve personally battled with burnout many times in my Church Media journey and have experienced how it can destroy the joy of serving in ministry. Here are six tips that I’ve learned over the years to combat the wicked beast of burnout:

1. Cut The Cord On Projects With Little Return

Write out a list of all the projects that currently require your time throughout the week. Think hard about this and even write out the small tasks. If you’re honest, there are quite a few on your list that aren’t worth the time investment that you’re putting in. An example of this in my life was when we were filming weekly video announcements for our church. It was a cool idea, but we weren’t seeing enough return to keep stealing my Thursday nights.

2. Talk To Somebody

Find someone that you can be honest with about how you’re doing. This may be a pastor, a friend, or perhaps a counselor. In my experience, it’s been best to regularly check in with friends who also work in ministry, but are outside of my everyday circumstances. They are often able to give a fresh perspective and remind you to stay true to what’s really important.

3. Meet With Your Leaders To Hear Their Vision Frequently

It’s super frustrating when you’re not on the same page as your leadership. Schedule regular meeting with your leaders to hear their vision for what’s next in your church. This will allow you to redirect your goals to support where they’re headed. Ask questions such as, “What can I do to support this vision?” You may not always get the answers you’d like, but it’s very rewarding to work towards the same goals.

4. Give Responsibilities Away

Delegation is a discipline that has never come naturally to me, but it’s super important in ministry. I’ve had to train myself to give things away for the sake of my family and my own spiritual health. You cannot do it by yourself. Give others the chance to get involved by giving some of your responsibilities away. While they may not be up to par with your standards, it gives them the opportunity to serve and, if you’ll teach them, they’ll grow.

5. Put Away Your Computer After Hours

I love being on my computer, but there is a time and place for it. After working all day, coming home to your family shouldn’t be interrupted by your glowing screen. This is another discipline that has been incredibly hard for me, because I naturally want to work all of the time. Not only does your family need this, but you need this. Taking a break from your computer/tablet/smartphone allows you to recharge your soul on the things that matter.

6. Get Alone With God

We will always be at our best when we are most connected with our God. Some of my most fond seasons of serving in ministry have been some of the most busy. How did I press on in those hectic times? I took time to connect with Jesus in an authentic way. The fastest way to get burnout in ministry is to take God out of the equation. You’ll never regret making time in your schedule for Him.

Have you ever faced burnout in ministry?

Kendall Conner

Kendall Conner

What do you get when you combine production, design, and communications together with a passion for the Church? It turns out, this is the precise formula to make up Kendall Conner. For the past 18 years, this Christ-led creative has been bridging the gap between media and ministry. In addition to serving as the creative pastor in his local church, he is the Chief of Operations for Church Motion Graphics, a ministry-focused design studio that serves thousands of houses of worship around the globe. Kendall specializes in equipping church media leaders and volunteers to utilize creativity in their services to share the hope of Jesus.

6 Comments

  • Ryan says:

    Simple and right to the point. Really appreciate this post Kendall. We had pretty much the same experience with video announcements at my church, decided to put it aside because the effort wasn’t worth the end product.

  • Scott Telle says:

    Great point about the return on video announcements. Some things that are really great ideas don’t always end up as anything more than adding entertainment value. NOT all bad if you have the extra volunteer and resources to pull it off, but stills something to really think about. I appreciated this example and it now has me thinking a little deeper about “why” we do certain things at our church. Thank you.

  • I think that burnout is a constant struggle for many of us in ministry. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we’d like to do, so it becomes about identifying and focusing on what’s really important. This is no easy task! I think you are right on with this list, and we can’t overstate the importance of nurturing our own relationship with God. Everything good we could possibly do flows from this.

  • Diane says:

    Great list of issues. I had to Re-evaluate my to do list and request from other Ministries. Keeping God in the mix has allowed me to say no to request that appeared to drain resources without a good return. I do monthly video announcements which are shown every Sunday. I prepare a new DVD each week – only including the content related to the days left in the month. This workflow – – I only shoot live video every two weeks,if necessary, to add content for the upcoming weeks. Thanks again.

  • Thank you for writing this! I can’t tell you how many times I have faced burnout in both my creative business and in ministry! Thank you for having an a Godly spirit and willingness to be open!

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