Are you feeling: Stressed? Overworked? Under appreciated? Disconnected? Overwhelmed? Uncared for? Unloved? These are some of the signs of burnout. Burnout can occur when we regularly exceed our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities in our ministries. Combating burnout can take the shape of an extended vacation or even a new job. But to faithfully live on a daily basis in the ministries that God has given us, we need to focus on smaller, well planned, intentional, steps that both protect our current well being and, at the same time, stretch our capacities for new growth. Each of these smaller plans work integrate with each other to build an overall plan for passion, energy, and peace, in your current ministry environment.
HOW TO AVOID BURNOUT SERIES // PART I
There may be nothing more real in the life of a worship leader, band member, choir member, accompanist, and pastors, than the phrase #sundayscoming. The ever present, never ending reality that time moves on and every seven days we have to be prepared to perform some variation of our weekly worship service for the people who gather in our building. There are times when this may be as little as offering up songs, prayers and topics set into a tried and true worship template (also known in some ministries as a rut). At other times we may be trying to create something new from scratch. Any of these words sound familiar: energetic, exciting, innovative, cutting edge, culturally relevant, woke.
Regardless of the level of creativity required, the simple reality of the relentless pursuit of time may be enough to send our stress through the roof. We may feel weak, angry, frustrated because it seems like no one understands the pressure we are under. What can we do to relieve some of this pressure? The real stress of #sundayscoming is that we have our minds focused in the wrong direction. When we think about the upcoming service, our stress begins when we think first about the people we are supposed lead, both on the stage and in the pews, or the pastor that we are supposed to please. There is a very real and often too present to those thoughts. But as much as that way of thinking may be our reality, our real focus needs to be on the One with whom we will be meeting as we lead others. Yes, I am a worship leader, but more than that I am a “tour guide” leading this gathered crowd of people who come to worship from a variety of places in their spiritual lives, to understand and experience the reality that they are worshiping in the living presence of our God. To overcome our stress, we must first orient our hearts and minds to one of anticipation instead of trepidation. #sundayscoming should be a thought of joy, a beacon of fulfilled purpose, a source of life. We must change #sundayscoming from a moment of despair into the cry of hope that it is intended to be.
My prayer for you today is that you will seek out God’s help to work on changing #sundayscoming away from a source of stress and into one of joy and anticipation. It will not be easy. It will take perseverance and repetition. But the resulting relief you will feel will not only make you healthier, it will help you be the leader that God has called you to be.
People got you down? That’s ok, #sundayscoming. Life stressing you out? That’s ok, #sundayscoming. Want to know what it feels like to be in the presence of God, with the people of God, worshiping, singing, praying, and praising, the one, true, living God? That’s great! ‘Cause #sundayscoming!
Here’s a great podcast on burnout from Curtis Zackery
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Dr. Craig Gilbert, a consultant and coach fondly known as The Worship Doctor, is the founder of Purposed Heart Ministries, a worship renewal and education program for all churches. Craig 25 years as a music and worship minister working with choirs, bands, and various artistic groups while leading and designing worship in churches of all sizes and styles. Now he spends his time helping churches across the country imagine what worship could and should be in their local context and then helps them get there!