There is nothing easy about ministry.
Even though it is profoundly rewarding and calls out the very best you have to offer, ministry is a spiritual, emotional and physical challenge.
At Transforming Church, we are passionate about seeing spiritual leaders thrive, not just survive. Healthy churches are not possible without healthy leaders. We’ll only have transforming churches when our leaders are themselves being transformed.
There’s a lot of talk about clergy burnout. That’s because it’s a real thing. The tough thing to swallow is that burnout can usually be avoided if a leader has an early detection warning system in place.
In the same way that a smoke alarm will start beeping when its batteries are low, but while it is still functional, God has been gracious to give us signs that our spiritual and emotional batteries are running low.
Consider the list below and see if any of these early warning signs apply to you, signaling that your batteries need recharging.
- You find yourself avoiding people or responsibilities for no good reason.
- If you have teaching responsibilities you find yourself recycling material you have used before more often than not.
- You don’t have an active commitment to physical vigor and fitness.
- You find yourself turning or being tempted to turn to some other thing for stress relief – sleep, alcohol or prescription meds, sex, daydreaming, excessive time online/on social media – (fill in the blank)..
- Your relationship with God feels stale. In particular, devotional times are used to generate material for ministry purposes exclusively, not for cultivating your personal relationship with God.
- You find a bitterness or cynicism creeping into your thoughts and even your conversation, surprising yourself sometimes. And you find yourself harboring resentment, particularly against those you serve in your ministry.
Here’s the thing about these signs. Their mere presence can make us feel guilty, guaranteeing that we will plunge even deeper into them.
Here’s the other thing about these signs. There is help and hope! The fact that you recognize these and other potential signs of low battery power means you have time to address them, get rejuvenated, and recapture the joy and fulfillment you most likely once had in spiritual leadership.
We mentioned that at Transforming Church we have a real commitment to spiritual leaders in danger of depleted batteries. We want to help. Below are several ways we can do that.
If you need a trusted confidant, an experienced ministry practitioner who knows where you are and can help you get where you want to go, consider a ministry coach. For more information, please read this.
If you need a new spark for your team and for your leadership of your team (especially a new understanding of your uniqueness as team leader), please read this.
If you find your church’s vision or your enthusiasm for that vision is waning, a refresh and update could be helpful and energizing. For more, please watch here.
Remember, you are not alone! You have a trusted community in us who wants to help and is committed to serving you and the people you serve!