I have the incredible opportunity to interact with pastors regularly. In recent conversations, I have asked two questions. First, have you ever experienced burnout in your ministry? Second, what do you do to prevent pastoral burnout?
Interestingly, every pastor with whom I spoke had experienced some level of burnout. So they spoke from the voice of experience when they shared with me what they do to prevent burnout. I aggregated their responses to seven keys to preventing pastoral burnout, not in any particular order or priority.
1. Remember your call. Ministry can be tough and dirty. It can be frustrating and confusing. But if we remember Who called us and Who sustains us, we are able to persevere. We understand we are not doing ministry in our own power.
2. Pray for your critics. Criticism is one of the most frequently mentioned causes of burnout. Pastors on the other side of burnout told me they have learned to pray for their critics almost every day. It has given the pastors a fresh perspective. A few pastors even noted significant change in their critics shortly after they started praying for them.