Burnout is a very real problem for many ministry leaders. I know because I’ve been there. If you aren’t careful, burnout can be a devastating experience that could lead to quitting ministry altogether. God has brought me through more than one season where I needed to do some housework in my own ministry. As leaders, it is so easy for us to become discouraged, and even worse, dislocated. Here are some tools to help you strengthen and sustain your role as a leader:
Never stop learning and growing.
Read and study. Never stop growing. We live in a world of information. There is no shortage of books, small group materials, conferences, seminars, and leadership materials available today. Make time to focus on your own personal growth. Above all, spend time in prayer and God’s Word. Never stop learning and allow God to grow you into the leader he has called you to be.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52 ESV).
Don’t try to do it alone.
No one can do everything well. If you share responsibilities with your apprentice and group members, you will be more apt to continue to lead the group and other leaders will be equipped to lead. Everyone benefits when you share your leadership responsibilities.
Do something different.
Is your group stagnant? Sometimes all it takes to spark a new passion is to make some small changes. Change how you pray, change meeting locations, add worship to your meeting time, or take a break to go have some fun together. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a little.
Understand your seasons.
Take a good look at what is going on in your life right now. Are you working full time, raising a family, and participating in sports? How is your health, your marriage, and other relationships? Most of us are too busy. If you find yourself at your wits’ end, you might need to take a break. Stepping out of your leadership role and allowing someone else to lead for a while will afford you more time and energy to focus on your own spiritual well-being. It will be better for everyone in the long run.
No one ever said that ministry is easy. When you are called to care for and shepherd people, it’s hard work. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NLT).
Do you need some encouragement, tools, or fresh ideas? See Free Resources from Steve Gladen!