Anyone who has done ministry for any period of time will run into the same problem: burnout. Giving your all, week in and week out, can wear on your spirit. What can be done when feelings of loneliness, stress, emptiness or plain old discouragement threaten our ministries?
Dealing with Drought
What do you do when you feel like you have nothing left to give? Ministry is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. Many children’s ministry workers use the word drought to describe their soul when they near or have crossed a finish line. They just feel empty and used up. So what can you do when all your energy is depleted after a long season of ministry?
The first thing you need to do when you feel like you’ve run out of self to give is to reconnect to the source: Jesus Christ. To do ministry well and for a long time we need to remain connected to the source and reason for our ministry in the first place. The second thing is to connect to your support system. Has God raised up someone to come alongside you during this season of your life? These relationships are so important in helping us reconnect with our Lord.
Being in ministry for any period of time at all will inevitably mean discouragement. Maybe an event didn’t go over well, or your week over week attendance has been dropping with family’s attendance becoming more and more infrequent. However, this discouragement has snuck in it can lead to nasty feelings built up in your heart. So how do we cure discouragement and reconnect with our passion for ministry?
After a long season of ministry, you need to take time to spend time with God. Consider taking a silent retreat or just spending the day in quiet. Be alone with God and your thoughts. Get out into the beautiful landscape that God has created and just walk with Him. Bring your questions, doubts, fears, joys, worries, and happiness before God. Spend time with God regularly and ask him to refill you with passion for ministry, even before you are discouraged.
Juggling Hectic Schedules
Saying “yes” to too many good things can wind up feeling like more of a curse than a blessing! Between life, ministry, work, family and hobbies, it can feel like when we’re doing everything we need to be doing it can still feel like we just aren’t living up to everything we should be doing.
Saying yes and no can be difficult. Before you pick up another role or set of responsibilities, take a few moments and count the cost. Can you afford the time to excel at this request? Can you afford the impact on those closest to you? What will you be letting go of to be able to pick this up? Saying no to things can be hard. How do we know what those things are? Use the previous questions to help guide you through this process. Ask opinions from trusted sources. When you recognize that you need to say no to things in your life, ask for God’s help and for the courage to say no, so that you can say yes to the more important things.