5 Ways to Recover From (and Prevent) Ministry Burnout

Which of these steps will you take today to stave off burnout?

1. Make Time for Yourself.

This may seem like a “no brainer.” Usually, the no-brainer ideas get pushed to the side, but they can make the most impact. Making time for yourself can look like a number of things, and it can be as often as you feel necessary.

Set aside time once a week, whether it is just a few hours or a whole day for yourself. During this time, you can do any number of things that bring you joy and rest. Maybe you catch the latest movie, read a good book, attend a sporting event or do something else that you would find relaxing.

Most importantly, make sure that at some point during this time you spend time with the Lord. As a pastor, you spend much of your time pouring into others. As a result, it is all the more important that you take time to allow the Lord to pour into you.

2. Talk to, Not at, Your Spouse.

Sometimes it feels impossible to talk to your spouse about anything other than what has been bothering you, a problem that needs to be solved with the kids, or the stress from the office. However, creating the time to play a card game, make dinner together, and catch up on the little things in life that get lost are great ways to rest and feel connected with your spouse.

I truly think that having a healthy marriage is one of the keys to having a strong and successful ministry.

3. Build Up a Team of Individuals to Protect Your Blind Side.

Most, if not all, pastors enter the ministry with a passion for reaching the lost and for seeing lives transformed for eternity. The majority of pastors receive some type of training (whether it be formally or informally) to prepare them for ministry. However, these ministers quickly realize that out of all the training they received, the areas in which they feel completely unprepared are church compliance and administration.

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For many ministers, church compliance and administration are the root cause of many sleepless nights. You may agree that they are the “blind side” of ministry with which you need help. Whether it be with bylaws, pastoral compensation, bookkeeping or obtaining 501(c)(3) status, you could use help.

4. Exercise Regularly.

This does not mean that you have to do anything too strenuous, but going on a simple walk can have huge gains. For instance, a recent study conducted by Stanford University showed that “a person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.”

Activating the creative side of your brain allows your logic and reasoning to take a breather. Taking one hour out of your week to go on a walk or run can balance both parts of the brain. When you have been in a constant state of problem-solving, a little exercise goes a long way.

5. Take Time to Have Fun With Family and Close Friends.

How often do you spend quality time with friends and family? It is important to respect the rejuvenating qualities that our friends and family bring to our lives. Create time in your schedule to be with the people who really know you; you will not regret it.

The goal of restfulness: to expose and to recharge.

Ephesians 5:13 says, “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”

It is easy to keep the good, the bad and the ugly cooped up inside. However, when you rest and recharge, those buried fears and insecurities that stifle your ministry rise to the surface and slowly fall off of you.

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Suddenly, you start to feel like yourself again. You gain a new perspective on your life and ministry and no longer feel alone. Rest provides us with so much more than we realize, and it is time to take full advantage of its benefits.

Used by permission of startChurch.com.