Monday, July 8, 2013

Preventing Burnout

Here is part two of a great article from Focus on the Family's Thriving Pastor to pastors about preventing burnout . . .

In Part 1 of this article we talked about the reality of “burnout” – its prevalence among ministers, its symptoms, and some of its more harmful practical effects.  We discussed how this psychological phenomenon impacts pastors in the office, in the pulpit, and at home with spouse and kids.  I closed with a promise to give you some specific advice for avoiding “burnout.”  Here are some of the syndrome’s most common symptoms and a few suggestions for dealing with them.

Lack of rest: To avoid burnout you have to be spiritually, mentally, physically, and relationally healthy. This isn’t easy to achieve, of course—sometimes the ministry can be so consuming that rest seems impossible. That’s why Jesus’ words to His disciples are so important: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while. For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:11)

If you don’t intentionally schedule rest, it will not happen.  Here is the rule that I try to live by: Whatever is on the calendar first wins. I don’t change the calendar unless it is an emergency by my definition. I recommend that you sit down with your spouse and schedule time for recreation, study, a day off, and your vacation. Then, when you get a request to do this or that, you can honestly say, “I am sorry but I have an appointment.” It’s important to maintain this boundary and protect your time off.

Read the entire article here.

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