is when you are completely empty. You are
spiritually, physically, and emotionally poured out.
There is nothing left to offer. Not surprisingly, this
condition is common in pastors. In fact, we all have
experienced some degree of burnout. If, however, you are
consistently or persistently empty and would describe
your condition as burnout, you are in danger. Here are
some ways to recognize burnout.
Your devotional life is suffering.
Your family life is being adversely affected.
You have a nagging sense of ever being behind.
find yourself with a low threshold for inconvenience.
Sabbath rest is the exception rather than the norm.
You experience a sense of overall weariness.
Physical exercise is sporadic or nonexistent.
Physical ailments are increasing.
The sense of
serving God with gladness is gone.
periodic thoughts of fleeing from the will of God.
If any of the conditions listed above is consistently
present in your life, you need help. Talk to a Godly
friend or a trusted associate. Even though it is
important that you not try to bear all this burden
alone, here are some tips to help you emerge from
Wait on God
as a necessity, not a nicety.
See the home as the
launching pad for all public ministry.
need for supportive relationships.
character must precede charisma.
Commit yourself to
build for permanence.
Learn to plan, delegate, and
manage your time.
Plan time off carefully and
Be released to say no.
and proper nutrition an integral part of your life.
Stay in your "sphere" and resist the snare of
The Road to Recovery
Confess to God: "I can't!" Let yourself off the hook.
Don't beat yourself up.
Embrace the pain. Don't
fight it (Rom. 5:1-5).
Everything that happens can
be used of God to prepare and strengthen you (Rom.
Find a safe environment in which to share
your feelings on a regular basis. Feelings will express
themselves eventually. Choose to express them in
healthy, voluntary ways. Don't wait for them to erupt in
emotional outbursts, burnout, and physical ailments.
Find a trusted support group or a compassionate
counselor who knows how to listen without giving foolish
and unwanted advice. Discipline yourself to share weekly
with this person. Pray together. Let this person share
positive insights when you can see only the negatives.
Learn not to share with wounders. Some will use
information you share to hurt you.
weakened spirit. Include books, tapes, recreation,
When you can't praise God, be honest. God
desires "truth in the inward parts" (Ps. 51:6).
time for fun.
Eat nutritionally balanced meals and
It may be impossible for you to rest on
Sunday, but you need a day of rest sometime during the
(Adapted from Larry Tomczak, Burnout or