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Does anyone ever need a break from church?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jim Ellis, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Jim Ellis

    Jim Ellis New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
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    Hey all, I'm feeling that I ned a month off from all church activities. Normally I go to Sunday school, Worship service, and Tues. morning bible study. I think I need a break from this life style, I'm feeling burnt out!
    What do you all think??? :confused: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. LauraB

    LauraB New Member

    Oct 1, 2002
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    I don't think church and serving our Lord and Saviour could ever burn anyone out. "He" wouldn't let that happen.

    I sorta know how you feel though. I love going to church and I have been getting more and more active in my church. But every so often something will happen in my life and I get so discouraged that I don't even feel like going to church! Ya know what I do when that happens?

    I force myself to go. I am always glad I did. Sometimes I will sit there at a prayer meeting and just say Lord, I am sorry but I am so discouraged that I have no words. And I ask for him to forgive me because I don't want to talk.

    Now every once in a while all the activities get a little much. And when that happens I will sit one or two out, which I did this past sunday. I am a part of the choir, and I just didn't have it in me to sing, so I sat it out. Was kinda nice to sit back and hear the choir myself, but also wishing I was up there!

    So, I feel that if you take a break, and I have done it, it becomes habbit forming. I missed one week, then the next, and the next, before you knew it I had the Pastor knocking at my door because it had been 2 months since I had been in church. I had to get back in teh mind set to go. No matter how tired I was, or how discouraged, I would get my Butt up and go!

    Works for me! [​IMG]
  3. Haruo

    Haruo New Member

    Mar 15, 2003
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    Could be you're right. Have you been praying about it (or is praying one of the activities you're feeling burnt out on)? Have you mentioned it to your pastor or another mentor in your church? Is there some conflict or struggle (either within the church or in your personal life) that may be the root cause of your burnt-out feeling? There are other questions it might be worth asking yourself, these are just the first ones that popped into my mind.

  4. Larry in Tennessee

    Larry in Tennessee New Member

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Sometimes, I think, we get so busy doing things for God, that we forget to spend time with God. I've found myself in this situation a few times. Church activities are wonderful, but they can never replace personal time with the Lord. I've found that when I get busy with church activities, sometimes I neglect to spend personal time in the Word and prayer. When I do this, I start to burn out quickly, because I'm failing to refill my tank. Jim, is it possible that you could be in this situation? I know that many times, I'll not even realize it.

    Love in Christ,
  5. Ben W

    Ben W Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Sep 16, 2002
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    Yes it can be good to take a break from time to time, and it is good for others to help with your load.
  6. RaptureReady

    RaptureReady New Member

    Sep 17, 2002
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    I say keep serving the Lord. You get a break Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday. 3 days on and 5 days off, the Lord is good.

    No manner what is happening in your life, keep praying for the Lord to give you strength and keep serving the Lord(Psalms 46:1). We all go thru troubles and trials, the real test is whether they prevail or do we allow the Lord to do His work.

    Keep serving brother,

  7. Gina B

    Gina B Active Member

    Dec 30, 2000
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    Jim, figure out what's causing you to feel like this please. Has there been an argument with someone in the church that makes it uncomfortable? Is it a long way to drive? Are you talking about just those services or are you involved in other activities? Do you mean the lifestyle of christianity in general or just of going to church?
    I'm asking a lot of questions, but just trying to figure out where you're coming from.
    It sounded like you mean you would quit going at all. I'm sure you're familiar with the verse "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together".
    I've taken a "break" before, although I did enjoy going to church, and ended up feeling resentful for having to get up and ready to go when I went back. Instead of making it better it made it worse.
    Please don't quit going altogether. Go to at least one meeting a week.
    Here's something to try. Go to church next Sunday and look around for someone that needs help. Is there a single mom who needs groceries? Buy her some. Is there a member who has been very quiet and might need someone to talk to? Go talk to him. Helping others can do wonders for the soul. I know our reason for helping should be only to help others, but it's undeniable that it benefits us too. It can help turn a dry day of just going through the motions one more time into a joyful time.
  8. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia Guest

    Shucks Jim! You only give God 3 hours a week in organized services! How much less are you willing to give Him?

    You only get out of church what you are willing to receive and you cannot receive if you are not an open vessel.

    Who wants to go to church again when you sinned quite a bit since the last time you attended?
    Have you ever wondered why you dread going to church?

    A normal person doesn't want to get stuck spending an hour or more with someone they've wronged.

    Who looks forward to meeting with a creditor you haven't made things right with?

    And why go to church when sin has recently characterized your life? Better to pretend you have a migraine. Otherwise, if the presence of the Lord is powerful in the service, you're toast!

    But wait. . .a better idea is to find a place to be quiet with the Lord sometime Saturday evening. "I feel really embarrassed about what I've done, but please hear me out . . ." you can begin. Then honestly share your thoughts about your relationship with the Lord. Tell him how you have mixed feelings about going to church tomorrow. You don't want to be a hypocrite.

    If you have no intention of forsaking your sin you probably shouldn't ask to be forgiven. But if you want to put the matter behind you, Saturday might be a good time to plead the blood of Jesus.

    One really good thing about Sundays is that they come around every seven days. For regular church attendees Sundays have a way of forcing the issue of holiness.

    Would choosing a time and place to get together with Jesus this Saturday be something for you to think about right now? This might eliminate the dread of Sundays. http://teamsundays.gospelcom.net/lib/html/tuneups13.html

    Sometimes our own attitude is to blame when church isn't all that great.
    Who's mostly to blame when church isn't all that great?
    Do you need to be reminded that the attitude you bring to church has a great bearing on how much you get out of the service?

    Go to church wishing you didn't have to. . .arrive there out of obligation. . .leave as quickly as you can when church is over. . .and it's easy to predict how much value the service will be to you.

    But start telling yourself on Thursday or Friday that "the highlight of my week is going to be Sunday morning in church" and it just could be precisely that. You'll get up on Sunday morning excited to see your brothers and sisters in the Lord. You'll enter into the worship with delight, and you'll listen eagerly for what the Lord wants to tell you.

    The truth is, you control much of what happens on Sunday in church by your own attitude. So don't blow it--at least not this Sunday when it's rumored that the Lord himself will be present!
  9. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Aug 10, 2002
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    A key verse for any situation is "to be anxious for nothing, but all things by prayer and supplication, let your needs be known to God."

    Burnout is possible in any field of endeavor. Many a pastor has experienced this. We climb on the treadmill and our feet get going, but we are really going nowhere fast. We must learn to take each step, one at a time, and not be pressured to take two. That is when we stumble and neglect the things we ought to do.

    The workplace discovered that a workman does his best job when he takes periodic breaks from his tasks and hence the coffee break was introduced. Perhaps, even in our spiritual walk, we need a coffee break. We don't leave the job, we just set it aside for the moment while we refresh physically and mentally.

    All the best to you.


  10. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    A break from church? Sure.

    A break from the Lord? Of course not.

    Agree with Larry that we can get too involved and too wrapped up in "work" of any sort. It begins to work on our minds and that will affect us emotionally and physically.

    Our church does not allow SS teachers to teach in the summer. We have other folks who "sub" in for a week or two through a specialized curriculum June-August. SS teachers sit in the adult class and soak in or take time off without guilt . . and every one of them is thankful" for the break.

  11. Mitsy

    Mitsy New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
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    I disagree with the majority. I think every once in a while, we DO need a break from church if we are feeling like we have too many jobs related to church work or we feel just overwhelmed with life. Sometimes we can overdose with dealing with other people and a break from everyone is what is needed in order to get our bearings back.

    It also is an indication (at least was with me) when I needed to perhaps find a different church. When church becomes a "chore" and you get nothing out of it, that is a signal that you need to do something else. Sometimes it's the mix of people at church that is inhibiting our walk with God or it's stale sermons that we've heard over and over again. I became so totally stagnate at my former church that I truly dreaded going and got virtually nothing out of the services...fellowship or otherwise.

    One woman I used to go to church with complained weekly about how she got nothing out of church and didn't know why she even went. I was to the point of wishing she would stay at home since she made it miserable for anyone who was around her. This woman STILL complains about getting nothing out of church but refuses to try another church. I'm through giving her advice about trying something different.

    While I have sat out for a period of weeks without going, the feeling of needing to be in a worship service will creep back into my subconscious and I begin to feel like something is lacking. However, being at church every time the doors are open, to me, is not an indication of how good a Christian you are. There are many people who show up, but that doesn't mean you are always getting something out of it nor does it mean you are uplifting anyone else there. It's called being a "bench warmer". If my heart is not in it, then sometimes it's best for me to serve God in other ways...perhaps helping someone in the community or in some other charity project. I think people who tell you that you need to be in ALL services at church ALL the time are trying to make themselves look good and put down others who simply do not care to go 3-4 times a week. We each need to find our own place and it isn't the same for everyone. Sometimes a break from anything refreshes us so that we can come back with a new and better attitude about things.
  12. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

    Oct 24, 2001
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    I happen to agree. Just as one may need a break from work, or family, or the multitude of other things in our life that are routine, one must occaisionally be allowed to take a break from church.
  13. stubbornkelly

    stubbornkelly New Member

    Jul 24, 2002
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    I agree that a break from church can be a good thing, particularly if one is continually serving at church.

    I've had those times myself. What I try to do, though, is make sure it's church I need a break from, and not God, and establish a time I will return to my normal routine. Sometimes needing a break can be a sign of other things going on, either internally or with the church body, so always take a look at that, too.
  14. MissAbbyIFBaptist

    MissAbbyIFBaptist <img src=/3374.jpg>

    May 3, 2002
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    I can't say as I've ever wanted a break from church, but there have been times I've wanted a break from a particular thing I was doing at church. About two years ago a family in our church that did most everything went out to start a church. When they left we were a little confused as to what to do. I prayed about it, and felt that I should do some of the things they used to do. Mainly church cleaning. They were the only ones who kept the church clean, and when they left that REALLY got neglected. Our pastor can't do any cleaning, and we shouldn't have expected him to. He's to old and has to many problems including a sick wife to have to spend hours cleaning.
    So I decided to do it. I'd clean that whole bulding top to bottom every week by myself. No one knew I did it. They just knew the church looked better. Granted I didn't know much about cleaning. I'd never been taught. But it needed to be done, and I had time to do it. Unfortunatly I didn't have physical endurance to do it. When I left every evening, I'd be drenched in sweat, and I hurt all over. {I have a mild case of inflamitory arthritus that can be kinda painfull} Some nights after cleaning I'd be up till two o clock rubbing my arms and legs. I eventualy went on a light pain medication to sleep some nights. I knew I could not keep on. I'd have to stop vaccuming and sit down and rub my shoulder before I could finish. I was quickly getting discouraged. I prayed for endurance. I couldn't quit because no one else would do it, and I didn't want God's house to go uncleaned. Then that March a new family came. Some of them got saved, and some rededicated their lives to Christ. They started helping me. Then my best friend got saved, and started coming regularly and he started helping. So instead of one cleaning there were six of us. It made things so much easier.
    If your getting burnt out in a ministry your doing, see if someone can help you. That can releive stress {and in my case pain! [​IMG] }and give someone else a chance to be of service.
    Also like someone else said, take a few minutes to help someone. When grocery shopping, pickup some extra things for a family in your church in need, or take a few minutes to call a member that is sick or discuraged. Smile more. Sometimes a smile can change a person's whole out look on a day.
    But whatever you do, don't quit on church. You need your church family, and the messages your pastor brings just like you need food every day. You need to be spiritualy feed. We ALL DO!
    Stay close to the Lord, and talk to Him. Some days I look back on a particularly bad day and realize I hardly prayed. And I'm so hot tempered, I find myself praying that the Lord would hold my tounge, or keep my from slamming my hand down. Things get REALLY tough if we don't remember to pray. We need the Lord. It's that simple.
    And I'll be praying for you. And I'll :D {smile} at you today. Maybe that will be a little encourageing. {or frightening! [​IMG] }
    Have a good day, and stay strong in CHirst!
    ~Miss Abby [​IMG]
  15. Ernie Brazee

    Ernie Brazee <img src ="/ernie.JPG">

    Aug 17, 2001
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    Wow, that's a new one a "break" form church.

    There is a lady in our church who has been teaching the 2 & 3year old class for 38 years. she takes short breaks for vacations, a week or two, but she doesn't feel comfortable sitting in class and not teaching. Does she get discouraged, many times, does she want to quit? Never.

    When I feel the most like staying home for various reasons, I force myself to go. Sometimes I have a pity party, thinking no one cares for me, you know Satan can fill one's mind with all sorts of nonsense. It seems as though it is these times the Lord prepares a message just for me.

    There have been times I have entered the church building feeling lower than a whales belly, but when I leave it is as if I am holding hands with the Lord.

    Its not a break one needs but a closer walk with Jesus.
  16. Charlesga

    Charlesga New Member

    Apr 3, 2003
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    If you are feeling burned out, tired, etc., you may really need to take a break...or give up some of the areas of service, if the Lord leads you to do so. Take some time to spend with Him and strenghten that relationship instead of performing all the "works"....it is the relationship that He is most interested in. Of course He wants us to serve Him, but not at the expense of knowing Him.

    Take some time and be refreshed, if you need to, and be guilt free about doing it!

  17. RTB

    RTB New Member

    Dec 6, 2002
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    Be careful of breaks, there is no telling how long they will last. Sometimes a vacation from "duties" is refreshing though.

    In Christ

  18. Madelyn Hope

    Madelyn Hope New Member

    Nov 6, 2002
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    I know that sometimes in the past I would get so overinvolved in the activities of the church that my commitment to be here or there at that meeting or committee threatened my commitment to Christ.

    I don't believe that God wants us to just fulfill "x" hours of time at church or be in a certain number of service organizations. There have been times where I have not been as involved with organized activities at church but was learning and serving through discipleship groups formed through a campus ministry. These days I don't do missions work through a sponsored church group but offer Christian service through working at a homeless clinic.

    There are seasons in each Christian life where God will call us to learn about and worship Him in different ways. Instead of going "cold turkey" (which I don't think was what the original poster had in mind), use this time to explore other ways to worship and serve. If you've spent time mainly in traditional services, seek out a more contemporary one. If you've primarily been involved in group Bible studies, it might be time to have a one-on-one relationship with a new believer.
  19. Abiyah

    Abiyah <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Jul 22, 2002
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    I, personally, understand a need for a break. When
    I was a single mother of a 10-year-old and a 13-
    year-old, a student going for an education degree,
    a Sunday school teacher, soloist, in the choir,
    one of the church artists, and probably had more
    little jobs I cannot think of at the moment, my only
    vacations were to church camps, where there was
    no relaxation -- just three services daily and four
    on Sundays. I was worn out! I told my pastor I
    was burned out and needed a break, and he lit into
    me as though I had stomped on the cross itself!
    (By the way, I was attending three services weekly
    plus choir practices and teachers' study.)

    Years later, in another town, he was my pastor
    again there, and I needed a break. I had not had
    a break yet because of the guilt trip, and this time,
    I was remarried, doing the same things at church,
    and now had four teens in the home. I got my
    break then, but the only way to do it was to just
    drop out of everything all at once. I do not
    recomend doing that.

    People do sometimes get burned out --
    especially those who have not yet learned how to
    say, "No!"
  20. Mike McK

    Mike McK New Member

    Sep 14, 2001
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    I think everybody feels that way, Jim.

    It's not your walk with the Lord that gets old, it's how you express it.

    I think you've gotten some good advice here but I would just add that maybe it would be a good idea to talk to your pastor or a trusted friend about this. They might see something we don't or maybe even you don't.

    Are there any good retreats where you are? There are a bunch offered through Key Life and some of their associate ministries or there might be one offered through your denomination.

    I know that these are a great way to hear God's word and fellowship with other Christians and still break things up a bit.