There are those who won’t admit to being burned out in the ministry because it could signal a sign of weakness or threaten church attendance. But, you’ll be no earthly good to your ministry if you’re not functioning at your best. I think this article from The Christian Post guest writer Thom S. Rainer is powerful and timely. ~Randi
Seven Keys to Preventing Pastoral Burnout
I have the incredible opportunity to interact withpastors regularly. In recent conversations, I 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. And so they spoke from the voice of experience when they shared with me what they do to prevent burnout today. 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 that we are not doing ministry in our own power.
2. Pray for your critics. Criticism in one of the most frequently mentioned causes of burnout. Pastors on the other side of burnout told me that 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.
3. Wait a day before responding to critics. Somewhat related to number two above, some pastors shared that ministry began to take its toll when they engaged their critics negatively in writing, in person, or by phone. Now these pastors wait a full day before responding, and they are amazed at how differently their responses take shape.