How did this make an impact?

  1. I burned out 7 years ago. Got to the point I’d just walk away from anyone who approached me with a problem. I’d hide from people, not being able to face another ‘issue’. Our church was thriving. We had led it through some challenging changes, planted a daughter church, and all was good. But I bottomed out, bured out – could not cope with church, with people, with life. I took a month off and tried to recharge. After a few months of struggling, I took another month off and tried again. The downward spiral continued. Depression, self-doubt, guilt, thoughts of suicide.

    I left the ministry for 2 years, returning to my pre-clergy career, then suffered a heart attack – almost died. I was laid off, felt the Lord’s call to return to ministry and did so, thinking by now I should be okay. God blessed us with a lot of growth, many saved, a dying church re-envigorated. But I could not face/handle problems and challenges. The burnout resurfaced. Depression returned. Now, I’m back in a secular career, serving as a lay preacher. Still can’t face challenge, opposition, conflict. Still want to run and hide.

    I know it’s not about me. I know without Him I have nothing to offer. I know He fights my battles for me and that all good gifts come from Him. I know it’s His work, His flock, His problems. But I can’t seem to “un-burn”.

    Is there hope? Is there healing? Or shall I just graciously, thankfully accept the reality of ministerial “retirement”? The guilt is great.

  2. This came just at the right time. I’ve been battling with the feelings of not being good enough and not getting the results in my ministry. I was on the verge of giving up but thanks for this.

    God bless you Pastor Rick

  3. dzidzonu elisée June 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    this is what i endure today,3 days l stay home to think about me and the ministry,l ask if God told me to foud a church? because of debt to pay by month the church local,l search for affilliation but nothing,and l am confuse but today l know that God send a menthor on my way to hold me up,[email protected]

  4. Great insight Pastor Rick!

  5. Edmundo sanchez May 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    thanks God for this mesage thanks Rick i realy neded it

  6. Pastor Rick: I just printed out your article for my husband.  I see the signs of burn-out in him. I sense he is standing in front of a fork in the road, either going back to work full time or weathering the storm until his breakthrough comes.  I believe in my heart that your article is the beginning of his breakthrough.  God used you to provide a plan for pastors, like my husband, that is simple yet rich with gold nuggests!  Our church is doing great, but at a price, and that is what he is experiencing.  Like you wrote, “Ministry sucess can drain you as fast as failures.”  I know he will come out of this, especially now that we have a plan. Gracias!

  7. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and practical application Pastor Rick . . . you continue to bless so many in the ministry!

  8. Unfortunately, I am not as confident as you when you state that we are needed.  It seems there are so many others who don’t seem to value our calling nor our committment to the call as much as you.  Thanks for your support.

  9. As a Pastor to pastors here in South America, I have translated this article and shared with our pastors.  It is one of the best articles that I have read on the subject.  Thanks. 

  10. Thanks Pastor Rick. What you shared really helped me personally


  11. Fernandez_Raul May 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Wow, just in the right moment.
    Thank you!

  12. this is powerful

  13. Thanks Rick for reminding us of this.  Years ago, at a Small Groups Conference at Saddleback, Lance Witt quoted from Gal 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  With tears in my eyes, I decided that God was not finished with me yet.  I eventually left that church position and moved on to an even more fruitful assignment.  Ministry can definitely wear you out, unless you are able to keep a divine perspective.  Thank God for His constant reminder that we are on the right track! 

  14. Thank you Rick.  I’m hardly young.  But I really needed that today!

  15. Pastor C Bradshaw May 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Thank You Pastor Rick for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you, You have saved my ministry, and myself as well, I will pray that you continue encouraging the young Pastors like myself we do need Pastor’s like you who cares and watching for us, thanks again and May God Bless you. Pastor Bradshaw

  16. “Second Wind” is an excellent offering we provide at Green Lake Conference Center Let me know if I may be of help. Dave Gallagher

  17. Our ministry, our problems, our dreams….If it’s our ministry, then it’s our problem. If it is God’s baby, then the weight is on His shoulders.

    Elijah started out his ministry saying, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand….”

    He was focused on the God of Israel.  God’s will and honor was THE issue.  Somewhere along the way Elijah listened to the people and became “the issue” in his own eyes.

    People will try to make you the issue.  “Is that you Elijah, you troubler of Israel?” 

    Just don’t allow you to become the issue in your own mind!  God is the issue.  Christ is the gospel.  We have received this ministry as we recieved grace….it is not merited and it is not ours.  It is a stewardship lent to us, but belonging to our Master.

    • WOW I wish i had it as together as you sound you do brother… 

      • I appreciate the encouragement.  I’ve spent a few years with Elijah in the cave of unrealized expectations.  To come out of there and finish your God-ordained assignment requires getting your eyes off of the results or lack of results and getting back to doing exactly what God tells you.  Nothing more.  Nothing less!

      • Thanks for sharing brotherman… I’m always wanting to learn and grow as a pastor. But, sometimes it is hard for me to know exactly what to do… Yes i have His Word, His Spirit, His Calling, but there are times i don’t know what to do but something needs to be done… and i don’t see what the nothing more is and nothing less is… and when that happens I can just do one thing and that is love, love and love so more and when i hit that wall… I get up, shake my head and brush my self off, ask God to forgive me for not seing the nothing mores and the nothing less’s and get back to what God has called me to do… inspite of me feeling sorry for myself… I wish I knew exactly what God was telling me to do… all the time… You are in my prayers, loved and appreciated… Thanks for letting me share..

  18. Hi Pastor Rick – thank you so much for this excellent, and timely, advice.

  19. pastor kingsley diala May 15, 2012 at 12:08 am

    thank you so much,these are perfect restoration plan for us ministers who are always in the process of burning out and yet no one cares to tell when to slow down and recharged, i am glad i ran into this material now, and i want to subscribe to this materials so that i will be on the list ,thank you again so much pastor Rick, you have added spices to my day
    pastor kingsley  diala

  20. Hi pastor Rick. Thank you so much for praying for us as the young pastors. I would like to also thank you for the outlined steps to overcome discouragement. God bless you and your family always.

  21. thank you pastor rick. it’s very practical when written out.