8 surefire ways to burn out in ministry

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8. Keep in mind that the church down the road or across the country has it so much better, and they don’t struggle with anything because they have everything.
I’ve been there. And I know firsthand how helpful it was to ministry burnout to think about how much greener the grass was on the other side. It was easy to think that with all the extra resources, the problems didn’t extrapolate. I mean, obviously they don’t, right? – look at all the stuff they have! Forget for a moment that half the reason they grew and got those resources is because they led and managed well what they already had.

7. Find your identity in what you do at the church
This is really helpful to burnout. It keeps you on the treadmill, gives you that wonderful tunnelvision that ensures your thought process of “What I do in ministry is what God cares about most, and if I fail, take a break, or plateau, then I’ve lost who I am and what I’m valued for.” Here’s a reality check – your church will go on without you, because it’s not your church.

6. Assure yourself that you’re the only one that can do it, and do it well.
Piggy-backing right on that last one, because you’ve built your identity around what you’re doing in ministry, you obviously are the only one that can do it right. So don’t bother training anyone. Don’t spend time getting help. You’re the only one that’s smart enough, competent enough, and really, they could never replace you.

5. Remember that your days off are suggestions.
They really are. Usher in that burnout quick – just run around the clock. And let’s be honest, you are SO much more productive when you’ve gone 36 fourteen hour days straight.

4. Only attend your own church. Always.
Nothing you could learn or be inspired by elsewhere. Besides, what would your congregation think?

3. Keep in mind that you can never be real with anyone – you’re a leader after all!
Leaders are the ones that speak into other’s lives. Don’t let your guard down, even when people call you out on it. Build your walls as high as possible – you’re a strong leader! Lie if you have to, you’re doing great! Someone is trying to help and walk with you through it? Crazy talk. Get back to leading!

2. Only hang out with other church employees, ideally ones that work as hard as you do!
Nothing helps you along this path better than rolling with co-workers or friends that fuel your burnout fire. Be sure to only hang out with people that are as bitter or more than you. Even people that aren’t in ministry, but love to complain about it. They are GREAT for morale.

1. Reserve prayer for staff prayer, time in his word for weekend prep, and quiet time for bed.
You work in ministry for a living. Why would you spend EXTRA time doing churchy stuff?

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