List everything you think people in your life want that will bring them ultimate joy.
Try to find these items cheaper (anywhere) by checking all the search engines and local merchants within a five-mile radius.
Stop and drag out all the decorating stuff. Trim the tree to surprise your spouse. Put all the boxes away to keep house tidy.
Maintain a good attitude.
In the lean and hard years of ministry I often prayed, “Lord, would you move me somewhere else? Would you put me in a church where I don’t have to do everything, and where I can have more influence? (for your glory, of course!)” The Lord answered those prayers with a “No.” In His wise and gracious providence, he kept me as the solo shepherd of a small congregation.
The Lord is teaching me through being a solo shepherd that I am not the savior of the church. By looking to Jesus Christ as my joy and reward, I can more easily be, as the hymn writer puts it, “Content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified.”
Dave Wiedis, Copyright 2011
Burnout! Twenty-five years ago I knew I was burned out when I carelessly walked in front of a SEPTA bus, and stupidly tried to defensively block it with a karate move. I had been working in a large Philadelphia law firm, and the relentless pressure and demands of practicing law had gradually depleted my energy and judgment (who walks in front of a bus and tries to block it??). The near miss with the SEPTA bus, whose driver’s quick reflexes saved me from tragedy, convinced me that I was beyond burned out, needed a break, and had to make wiser choices in my life.
Burnout is a real problem, and for pastors, it is a real threat to you, your family, your ministry and your church. According to one study on why pastors leave the ministry, moral failure is only the second most common reason pastors leave the ministry. The first is burnout.