Avoiding Burn-Out in a Fast-Paced World

May 8, 2023 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Lee C. Kennedy 

Many Christians in full-time ministry today find themselves overwhelmed like the early Apostles.  They hear God’s calling and see the countless opportunities before them.  Their vision is big because their God is big.  Yet, many of these same Christians leave full-time ministry because of burn-out.  Focus on the Family reported in 1998 that 1,500 pastors leave full-time ministry each year.

In the book of Acts, Luke details the history of ministry in the early church.  The early church meets together for fellowship, and the church grows as Peter preaches and the Apostles perform miracles.  The church continues to grow and the twelve apostles find themselves overwhelmed with their ministry (Acts 6:1).

It sounds like experiencing burn-out is nothing new.  After all, according to the Book of Acts, even the twelve Apostles felt overwhelmed as the church began to grow.  But, burn-out is not something that just full-time ministry leaders are burdened with.  This is a growing epidemic that each person potentially faces during their journey.  

So, the question each of us should take time to ask ourselves is: How can I avoid becoming another casualty of burn-out?  Self-assessment is imperative but it is often the first thing we bypass on our walk.  Journaling is a great way to assess emotional and spiritual health because it gives someone written evidence of the changes happening in their life over time.  As they say, hind-sight is 20/20 so, it helps to have your journey written down.  Burn-out is one of the most difficult things to recognize in ourselves until sadly, we’ve already reached that point.  It seems to be the case that often times we are more likely to listen to words from trusted friends than paying attention to our own inner-voices.  So, a good way to prevent burn-out from happening is to get together regularly with a small group of believers.  Establishing areas of accountability and supporting each other on our individual walks can produce positive results.

Most Christians have probably heard of Billy Graham and would agree that he produces positive results.  In fact, some would say that he is one of the greatest evangelists of the 20th Century.  Graham focuses his time and energy mostly on preaching.  Yet, he relies on local churches to disciple the men and women whose lives are changed through his preaching.  He has found that preaching is the best way to utilize his God-given talents in order to produce good fruit.  Although we’re not all called to full-time ministry, we are responsible for how we use our talents as individuals.  Some are called to be teachers while others are called to be technicians.  But, no matter what you’re called to, God expects us to give our best each day to bring honor to Him.  If you’re facing burn out, maybe it’s time to pause and consider these questions. Are you currently using your talents and time wisely?  Are you doing what God specifically made you to do?  Is the stress you’re feeling really a wake-up call to evaluate your priorities?  

We are all created with a purpose but discovering that purpose takes prayer, research, and time.  Sometimes it may be difficult to eliminate all the stress we are faced with regularly because we live in a fallen world.  But, once we know we’re passionately pursuing what we’ve been called to do, we will open the door for God to use us to help build His Kingdom.  The key to not burning out along the way is obeying Christ and keeping focused on His teachings and commands.  If we keep our eyes focused on Him and His Kingdom, our lives will product good fruit.  Like Billy Graham, we can live more effective, God-honoring lives.  When your priorities are in the right order, stress will be replaced with peace and joy.  So, stop and ask yourself: Are you on the verge of burning out?  Maybe it’s time to take a first step or begin moving in a new direction.

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