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.
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Signs of burnout – holidays not being able to rest — insomnia, critical conversation – withdrawn, nothing in the tank, wobbly fences, Doc – blood test – I must be sick?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
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.
Demonstrates thoughtful understanding of others, and intentionally develops and maintains close connections.
Understands and manages own thoughts and feelings to strengthen well-being.
Takes actions and forms behaviours that enhance long-term viability.
Assesses physical, emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities to minimise harm and maximise safety.
Who are you talking to?
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 –
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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A moment of reflection
To help you maximise your effectiveness and achieve your potential.