Every Sabbath I preach three times & about every three weeks I teach Sabbath school…so those weeks I am teaching four times in one day. My members worry about me. They worry that I will burn-out, that this is too much for me in one day. Here is the truth, preaching is tiring both mentally and physically, but the recovery time is usually quick. In fact I think I could probably preach four or five times a Sabbath every week and be okay (don’t worry Christina there are no plans for this 🙂 ), without burning out as people seem so concerned about.
Preaching is tiring for a day maybe two…but the real potential for burn-out in ministry comes from the emotional side of things.
Watching people I love and feel called to shepherd struggle.
Struggle with sin
Struggle with health
Struggle with finances
Struggle in relationships
Emotions that come with the relationships you build in ministry that then break your heart.
The pain of being misunderstood, misrepresented.
The sorrow over wrong decisions that wound those we love and serve.
The secrets we know but cannot share.
The battles with personal ego.
The thorns in my flesh
Not giving it all to Jesus
Trying to do the work only Jesus can do
Seeing those that at one time said, “yes” to Jesus, now saying “no”
Sitting at the bedside of a dying member.
Needing to say no to the homeless man I’ve come to love & so desperately want to help, but I know will only buy drugs
Receiving complaints I don’t know how to fix
A team I love attacked by the devil
Sorrow over the lost
Desperately wanting to reach more people for Jesus
Seeing people that need Jesus & not knowing how to reach them
Feeling insufficient for the task
Knowing my own sins
Missing my family…
Feeling like you’re coming up short as a husband and Dad
One more late night meeting…
Isolation in the midst of a thousand eyes
Preaching is tough, but I don’t think preaching will ever burn-me-out!
Do you want to protect your pastors from burn-out? Pray for the emotions that accompany ministry.
I’m headed to Hawaii…I’m going to preach three times…Not a problem…Rest from the rest of it…
The toughest single week of ministry in my life!
…Oh how I’m needing Hawaii!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9