How do I avoid ministry burnout?

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– Burn out seems to be a
problem with a lot of people and I think at its heart
it has two aspects. There can be a physical element. You know, when Elijah ran from Jezebel, he was tired, and the very
first thing that God did was he gave him rest and he gave him food. And there are times that men
in the ministry just need to rest and get away. My dad used to say, “come apart and rest or you’ll just come apart.” I’ve never forgotten that. And you know, the whole
sabbath rhythm that God gave us in creation is important. The problem with preachers
is that they’re typically working on Sunday, the
day that most other people take as something of a day
of rest and relaxation. A lot of times it’s the
busiest day of the week. The most stressful day of
the week for a preacher. So it’s important that a
man makes certain that he is getting a sabbath rest. It’s part of the rhythm of creation. We’re not talking about
a legalistic observance, we’re talking about God’s gift to humanity that we should receive,
it’s just part of wisdom in ministry. I believe part of that
is taking vacations. It doesn’t have to be someplace expensive. But go somewhere, get away when you can. I know different churches
give pastors different amounts of vacation, but
take advantage of it. Don’t leave anything on the
table or on the calendar. You make sure you take every bit of that so that you have a time to grow again and renew yourself, I think
that’s very very important. But another cause of
burn out is spiritual. And that comes because we
lose sight of the purpose. We can get our self worth from whether or not our church is growing, whether or not we’re seeing
people come to faith in Christ, be baptized. And those periods of harvest
are indeed wonderful. But the older I’ve gotten
the more I’ve learned, just be faithful, there
have been times of decline and I’ve seen church attendance go down and I realized that I
just needed to continue to be faithful. Yeah, there are some
things I need to do better. There is no cure quite like just going out and sharing the gospel with people, winning folks to Christ. That seems to cure a lot of burn out. So when I start feeling
down, I think to myself, have I witnessed to anybody lately? That’s always a great blessing to me. I think one that we
could employ more often. But I also find a great
joy and a great strength in making my marriage something
of a battery charger itself. I can take anything out there in the world if I can come home to a wife who gets it, who gets me, who is a partner in ministry, who encourages me, sometimes
challenges and rebukes me with the word. And through the years I’ve just learned that really is so important. Because if things are good at home, you can take it when you
go out there and it’s not. But man, no matter how
good things are out there, if you’re coming home to an empty marriage that’s not fulfilling, it can be bad, so I tell young pastors
to make sure that you tend to matters at home,
that you love your wife as Christ loved the church. That you disciple her, that
you shepherd her heart. Don’t neglect her and your children for the sake of your church. God’s called you primarily in their lives. I love my church, but the reality is I can get another church. I can’t replace my wife. She is God’s gift to me in a special way. And I’ve learned that
when our relationship is vibrant and exciting,
when we delight in one another’s company,
hey, I don’t get burned out out there as much either. You know God gave us a partner
in ministry for a reason. I think we need to be renewed in that and it helps us be renewed in the work. – [Narrator] Thanks for watching. You can submit your
questions by email, Twitter, or in the comments section below. And don’t forget to subscribe to find out the answer
to next week’s question.

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