Supporting the spiritual vitality of pastors and ministry leaders
Burnout occurs when the pressures of the external world and the unresolved places in our inner world disconnect us from the Source of life.
(2 Corinthians 4:1,16-18)
The information contained in these resources is not meant to replace diagnosis or treatment of burnout or depression by a qualified practitioner. We highly recommend that you seek the advice of a doctor or licensed counselor if you are experiencing symptoms of burnout or depression.
1. Burnout is a serious problem.
According to Barna in the State of Pastors report, 1 in 3 pastors (33%) are at risk for burnout and 46% have experienced depression. People who burnout are at increased risk for moral failure, leaving ministry and developing debilitating depression or anxiety.
2. Most people are unaware that there is a problem until they hit a wall and have great difficulty functioning. Read a more detailed blog post about what burnout actually is and how to detect symptoms of burnout in your own life and ministry.
Christian leaders are unaware that we are unaware of how we are really doing.
3. There are no easy fixes.
Burnout is complicated. Recovery requires a multifaceted approach, is not always linear and often feels chaotic.
4. You must address your inner issues for lasting change to occur.
Inner issues are more difficult to identify and require changes in values, beliefs, roles, relationships and approaches to life and work. ‘Solutions’ take a long time to implement because we are making changes in habits and patterns of behaving that are automatic.
(Growing Intimacy with God retreats and Unfinished Business groups help you address some of these issues.)
5. Burning out once does not make you immune from a recurrence
6. Look at it as an amazing opportunity in your life
Burning out is one of those ‘wall’ experiences that God allows us to go through. He does not mean it for harm but rather for good. If we cooperate, he will refine and transform us into the likeness of Christ. We will be better leaders and the churches and organizations we lead will be healthier.