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?