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Spin-off----How to handle ministry burn-out

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Spinach, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Spinach

    Spinach New Member

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    What is your best advice for handling burn-out, whether for a SS teacher, Pastor, Missionary, pianist, etc?

    And another question---what if a missionary needs a rest before a scheduled furlough? How do mission boards generally handle this?

    Our mission board does not dictate our furlough or field times and I only know how things are run within our mission.

    And now I would admonish y'all to pray hard for those in the ministry, as well as their families.

    And with that, I'm off to clean my messy house. :love2:
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
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    For ministers I've always been taught to put certain practices into my life.
    1. Always have a personal sabbath where your focus is on things you enjoy and you don't do anything related to ministry. (There are some obvious exceptions)
    2. Structure your day in thirds. Morning 1/3/, Afternoon 1/3, Evening 1/3. Plan on only working 2/3 of the day and arrange your schedule appropriately. If you're going to be working in the evening take the morning or afternoon off.
    3. Make sure you're being poured into through a mentoring relationship and consuming great teaching and personal devotional (not Bible study for preaching) times.
    4. Take every vacation day you've been give (and all personal days) every year. As a side note when I'm on vacation I don't go to church (unless it my parent's or Mrs. PJs parents church.)
    5. Find someone, who isn't associated with your church (of the same gender) that you can absolutely vent with. I've got a couple of friends that I can just call when I'm flabbergasted and get it all out. It's a huge help...plus it keeps my wife from assuming ministry baggage she doesn't need.

    As for volunteers or lay leaders:
    1. Serve where you're gifted and equipped by God. The fastest way to burn out volunteers is having them serve in areas and ministries that aren't in their gifting. (To discover your gifts frequently ask/provide resources for them.)
    2. Don't believe you have to serve every Sunday for the rest of your life. Take time off. Having a required rotation is helpful in some areas. (Team A, B, C and rotate on 2 Sundays off 1 kind of thing)
    3. Make sure you are getting into a meaningful worship and fellowship time with others your age. (Essential for kids/youth volunteers)
    4. If you start to wake up and hate going to church stop volunteering and take a season to detox. Stay involved but scale it back.

    These are things that we tell people and watch them like hawks. Too many people will kill themselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically for your church. We owe it to them to pray for them and minister to them.

    I think a missionary can request it if needed. I dunno for sure though.

    I'm a fan of sabaticals for senior ministers btw. Every 5 years take two months off, paid leave, to go and take a couple of courses or do some meaningful studying and research. Seems to help. :)
     
  3. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    I think preachinjesus has given some great advice.

    For myself I have always had a regular exercise program and people I can share my heart with who accept me the way I am and will also be honest with me. When I needed to get away I always did it with my family where I could not be reached by anyone. Usually that was the mountains.

    A devotional life is essential. Prayer is always vital.
     
  4. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf New Member

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    All good advice. From the threads you are posting currently it sounds to me like you need to MAKE a break, not just take one.
     
  5. Spinach

    Spinach New Member

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    I have encouraged as much, but it's not up to me.
     
  6. Spinach

    Spinach New Member

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    preachinjesus, that sounds like very good advice! Thanks.
     
  7. Spinach

    Spinach New Member

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    Nevermind. Rest is coming. It's forced by having a vehicle that is broken down and must be parked, but it's a rest just the same. Answered prayers come in many unusual forms, don't they?
     
  8. blackbird

    blackbird Administrator
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    The IMB---I hear---is good about providing ample vacation time to SBC missionaries and that emergency leaves can be requested and will be granted if needed

    Is it possible though---that particular personalities can handle "burnout" differently than others-------for instance----say---Type D person verses Type A person----D handles the situation different than A---see??? D says---Work?? This ain't work!!! and Type A says of the same situation---"I need a break from all this!!!"
     
  9. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller Active Member
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    I shoot skeet on Wednesday afternoons. Religiously.
     
  10. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76 Well-Known Member
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    My first step would be: what is burning me out?

    None of us are Superman. Don't spread yourself too thin, folks.

    I've seen one Pastor almost kill himself trying to be a Full-time Pastor, daddy, husband, PhD student, college professor and small appliance repairman.
     
  11. TC

    TC Active Member
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    Not handling stress very well can be a big factor in feeling burnout. So to relieve stress I go for brisk walks, go for a bike ride, or punch a heavy bag for awhile. Of course, hitting a heavy bag gets rid of the stress the fastest for me.
     
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