Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ministry Burnout

Burnout is alive and well in the church. Sadly. And the effects are great. Spiritually. Physically. Emotionally. Relationally. And left unacknowledged and unattended to, its ugly tentacles reach into the next generations.

I know. I've been there. Done that. And out of my own life experience, I now am privileged to speak into the lives of other ministry leaders with authenticity. Because burnout doesn't have to be the end. It can, by the power of God, usher in a season of healing. And out of that healing, even greater, more effective, joy-filled ministry can blossom forth.

In her little book, Mad Church Disease, Anne Jackson shares how ministry has impacted her life since childhood, and discusses burnout in the lives of pastors and their families - the risk factors, the causes, the results, and a path to recovery.

And she asks some hard questions that many of us need to grapple with if we want to be healthy and effective for Christ.

"How can you even call yourselves Christians when all you do is fight?"

"Does working at this church interfere with your communion with Christ?"

"Good or bad, do you accept your role in this?"

"What are some specific things you have done to contribute to the current state of your emotional health?"

"Are there any relationships that are causing undue stress and therefore need to be addressed by you?"

"Do you run to something that only covers up your pain?"

"What do you do? Do you leave? Do you stay and work to be an influence?"

A tiny volume, a powerful wake up call ~

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