008 – Are you burning up or just burning out? [Podcast]

photo credit: kommunikaze.ch



In this episode I mentioned the prevalence of burnout in every vocation, but with particular focus on ministry.  There is a difference between burning up with passion for fulfilling our purpose as Christ-followers and burning out and losing our effectiveness and joy (and perhaps even our ministries).

I mentioned 16 Symptoms of burnout that I have either personally experienced or witnessed:

1. Feelings of inadequacy … I can never be good enough … I can never do enough
2. Always looking for something else to do … Maybe the next thing will be “it”
3. Guilt … Over things not done … Guilty for being at church instead of home … Guilty For being at home instead of doing ministry
4. Exhaustion … Duh!
5. Feeling impatient … Must get to the next thing … Getting behind … The hurried-er I go, the behind-er I get
6. Short temper … When others slow you down
7. Inability to complete tasks … Too many tasks … Too little energy and time … Can’t focus
8. Hesitance to get anything started … Overwhelming to start something else
9. No safe place … Every place has more tasks
10. Insomnia … Mind races … Tomorrow’s tasks stealing tonight’s rest
11. Difficulty praying … Mind races to activities
12. Overindulgence time wasting activities … Looking for relief … 1000 things to do and I just spent an hour on Facebook or 2 hours of late night channel surfing
13. Deliberate sinful behavior … Looking for relief
14. Inability to enjoy or anticipate things that usually are pleasurable to you … Good meal … Evening with friends … Reading a book for pleasure instead of learning … Can’t unplug
15. No time for friends … Feelings of isolation and loneliness … Guilt for feeling that way … To many needs in the world
16. Perpetually late … Working until the last possible second
I also mentioned 5 possible Suggestions to combat burnout:

1. Intentionally create margin … White space … Boundaries
2. Focus on being rather than doing … Dallas Willard (the kind of person God wants you to be rather than so much on what God wants you to do) … Performance based Chritianity is a distortion
3. Do things that you connect with emotionally … Not just things that “feel good” but things that unlock your emotions … Getting caught up in a great story … Playing fetch with your dog or catch with your kid … Sometimes a good belly laugh or a good cry
4. Schedule “me” time … Michael Hyatt (oxygen mask)
5. Develop healthier habits … Physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually, vocationally … the goal is not to “get healthy” (whatever that is), but to turn in a healthier direction

Resources Referenced:

Your Church Matters Episode 2: How to Stay Overworked and Busy in Ministry

Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)


Burnout Articles:

10 Tricks to Avoid Nonprofit Burnout (Third Sector Today)

11 Reasons for Ministry Burnout and What You Can Do to Prevent it (Aggie Catholic Blog)

7 Warning Signs for Church Leaders Who May Be Close to Burnout (Christian Post)

Are You Burning Out?  Read and Make Some Notes (Monster Post)

Burnout: Why 30 is the New 60 (Scott Hagan)

Burnout Self-Test (Mind Tools)

How to Recognize and Prevent Burnout at Work (Business 2 Community)

All Work and No Play Makes Everything Dull (Fractus Learning)

How Google’s Marissa Mayer Prevents Burnout (Entrepreneur)

5 Things a Church Leader Can Do to Avoid Burnout (Christian Post)



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