C3 Pacific May 2021

Dr. Don Easton – Thriving in Ministry

Session 1. Burnout and Beyond

Burnout epidemic – We find that, across denominations, more than one-third of all pastors (35% of women and 38% of men) report significant levels of burnout. Bloom, Matt. Flourishing in Ministry (p. 18). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Approaching Burnout

High sustained stress

Complexity and rapid switching of roles

Dr. Richard Deschon one of the leading experts on job analysis concluded that 64 personal competencies are required to perform all the required tasks of a local church pastor. He concluded that “it is almost inconceivable to imagine that a single person could be uniformly high on the sixty-four distinct knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics.”

Few deep friends

Theological – Christian Work Ethic – a distorted view of Kenosis 

The cultural definition of success – money & people vs completion of an assignment


– limited transparency – Acts 4:31 boldness = parresia – The person who speaks with parresia will say everything that is on his mind with no restraint, flowing out of his heart with confidence. It involves being frank and honest, hiding nothing and speaking directly to the heart.

Signs of burnout – holidays not being able to rest — insomnia, critical conversation – withdrawn, nothing in the tank, wobbly fences, Doc – blood test – I must be sick? 

3 Components of burnout – see my blog 

  • High Depletion
  • High Detachment
  • Low work satisfaction

Beyond burnout – 

Recognition and Rest 

A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.

Recovery and Restoration

Ps 23:3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

– the role of my mentor – guide, protect, comfort

questions – building self-reflection, gaining self-awareness, outcome strengthening resilience

Repurposed and Replenished

Ps 23:5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Two key prevention things

Dr Chris Adams – APU 
A. A mentor who knows the signs and can say I see them.
B. Building emotional intelligence, becoming self-aware.

Session 2. Thriving in ministry

HCL profile

you are welcome to complete this profile – nominate or select your mentor 

5 core competencies of a Healthy Christian Leader 

Spiritual Vitality – 

Has an intimate relationship with God that is life-giving and life-changing.

Thriving Relationships

Demonstrates thoughtful understanding of others, and intentionally develops and maintains close connections.

Emotional Intelligence

Understands and manages own thoughts and feelings to strengthen well-being.

Sustainable Life

Takes actions and forms behaviours that enhance long-term viability.

Reduced Risk

Assesses physical, emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities to minimise harm and maximise safety.

Who are you talking to? 

Why –

the sustainability – the safety of your communities 

What will they bring –

Gift of discernment – help me see what I do not see.

Courage to give feedback – 

Capacity to build ownership – 

Outcome – 

Building resilience through self-awareness through developing the skill of self-reflection

Measure – self-test…

How full is my emotional tank 0-10?
Do I feel depleted?
When I try to sleep the motor is revving high?
How many nights a week is insomnia a problem?
Do I feel fatigued?
Do I sense detachment in key relationships?
Do I avoid people and meetings? Look for excuses to postpone, or avoid – pastors days, conference.
Am I negative towards the congregation?
Do I feel stuck?
Do I assess my self negatively?
Do I sense the presence of Jesus in daily activities and ministry?

It was great to meet you today!


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      Book: Flourishing in Ministry Dr Matt Bloom
      Book: I didn’t see it coming Carey Nieuwhof – burnout quiz