What a staggering number, 90%! That 90% number is for those who work in ministry as their vocation but I believe this statistic is just as important for people who are volunteering at a church, or a ministry, in any capacity. We are not only giving our time on a specific day/night of the week but also working or going to school full or part time. We all have a lot on our plates when we are serving God so it is important that we do not fall into that percentage of people who quit or have a major moral failure along the way. In other words Burnout!!!!
The word burnout means “the reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.” It can also mean “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.” Both definitions are applicable when it comes to ministry burnout
Have you ever gotten tired of ministry I don't mean ministering; I mean going from this meeting to that meeting, this program to that program, visiting this person then that person, answering the phone in the middle of dinner, answering the phone in the middle of the night, getting a phone call on vacation, etc., etc., etc. There seems to be no time for yourself or your family.
You’re headed for “burnout”.
Busyness is today’s badge of success. We even carry this over to ministry, thinking the busier we are for God, the more He must be blessing our church, our business, or our ministry. But God would rather have us be with Him than do a bunch of things for Him.
Yes, we are to work hard when we work
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
But we are commanded to rest;
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (NKJV)12 'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
The following was written by Pete Briscoe who has served as the Senior Pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, a multi-site church based in North Dallas, TX since 1991 during which time the church membership has grown ten-fold. Pete also leads Telling the Truth, a multi-faceted media ministry he shares with his parents, Jill and Stuart Briscoe.
A Prayer To Avoid Burnout In Ministry
By Pete Briscoe
"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” - Ezekiel 36:27
I’ve been in ministry for a number of years. I’ve seen people work themselves to the bone. They pour themselves out past empty and then turn themselves inside out. They do it all for Jesus. They do it all for love. Their intentions are purehearted, but their methodology is unbiblical.
If you want to avoid burnout, you’re going to have to let Jesus be Jesus – and that requires a great deal of surrender and dependence.
Mark 4:26-28 reads,
Mark 4:26-28 NIV He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.
The Kingdom of God is like this:
God grows it.
God produces it.
God knows how it works.
The Kingdom of God is like this: You don’t have to kill yourself to make sure it lasts. You are able to abide in the Lord and scatter where He tells you to scatter, plant where He tells you to plant, and – this is amazing – rest at regular intervals in between.
If the indwelling is the Spirit resting in you, then dependence is you resting in Him.
Heavenly Lord, May The Words Of Your Gospel Be Always In Our Hearts. As I Work In Ministry, Help Me Work With All Of My Might, But Also Help Me Know When I Have To Step Aside, In Order For You To Step In And Work In A Mighty Way. Help Me Have Wisdom To Know How To Abide In You. Help Me Avoid Burnout By Letting You Be You. Thank You So Much For The Work.
NOTE: Read our series on BURNOUT.