September 6, 2018

Success, the Prelude to Burnout

Featured image for “Success, the Prelude to Burnout”

Once I thought it was weak people who burn out. I am ashamed of my ignorance. Now I understand that success is the prelude to burnout.

Pace and Pressure

A motor burns out through excessive use. People are the same. It is the ones who want to make a difference, those with drive and determination, that are prone to burnout.

The ministry had reached a level of success that many desire. I was running hard and life humming along. The church we had founded moved into its own purpose-built facility on 6 acres of land. Multiple staff were caring for four congregations. I had completed a Doctor of Ministry, served as C3 Church State Director in South Australia and in Queensland. With a high sense of calling, as well as leading my own church, I worked two days a week as National Operations Manager. Our church celebrated its 20th anniversary. Having overcome many difficulties and was still on the journey, I felt I could do whatever I needed to and face whatever.

But this pace and pressure were not sustainable.

High Complexity

The complexity of the role of Senior Minister was one of the factors my burnout. This complexity contributed to the sustained high stress over a long period of time. The pace and pressure and complexity of high performance all contribute to burnout.

Pic reqpixel unsplash

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.” He adds to his finding in saying it’s compounded by the pace of changing focuses. “The breadth of tasks performed by local church pastors coupled with the rapid switching between task clusters and roles that appears prevalent in this position is unique. I have never encountered such a fast-paced job with such varied and impactful responsibilities”.


Rapid switching between task

It’s not just the complexity but having to switch between them at a fast pace that is unique to ministry. One moment there is news of an amazing financial miracle, but the phone rings bringing the news of a family who has just lost a loved one. You may be in the big picture of planning raising significant funds and someone comes in saying the toilet is blocked. Or you are working with the team on the child protection policy and you have a call saying their son has attempted suicide. The service production meeting is buzzing with the plans for the coming Sunday and someone announces the coffee machine is broken. It is Wednesday and you are planning your best message ever, you will deliver it like a Ted Talk, full of life and vitality and a text message flies across the screen, a loved family is leaving the church.

Deschon’s analysis was of pastors of the United Methodist Church, a connectional church that corporately, owns buildings, manages development and legalities. Many churches have their own legal entity. These are required to add the complexity of business administration, entrepreneurship, property development, financial management, accountancy, taxation, legal and corporate compliance, to name a few.

Ministry is complex, and our major threat is burnout. Something can be done about that.

Who is helping me with the complexities of ministry?

What is my unique role?

What decision can only I make? What decision am I making that others could make?

next blog: The 3 Components of burnout

Continue reading with these articles…

  1. I blog quite often and I really thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  2. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole
    my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83
    views. I know this is completely off topic but I had
    to share it with someone!

  3. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site
    before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back often!

  4. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are
    just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly
    like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to
    keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

  5. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show
    up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  6. Thanks for some other great post. The place else could anyone get that type of
    information in such an ideal method of writing?

    I have a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such

  7. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create
    this website yourself or did you hire someone
    to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like
    to find out where u got this from. appreciate it

  8. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the
    book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that,
    this is great blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be

  9. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking
    and checking back often!

  10. Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll send this
    information to him. Pretty sure he will have
    a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

  11. I know this web site presents quality dependent articles
    and other data, is there any other website which provides these
    kinds of stuff in quality?

  12. It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you sound like you know
    what you’re talking about! Thanks

  13. you’re truly a good webmaster. The website loading velocity is incredible.
    It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
    Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic process on this matter!

  14. We are a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme
    in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed a formidable
    job and our entire neighborhood will be thankful to you.

  15. This is very fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to in search of more of
    your wonderful post. Additionally, I have shared your site
    in my social networks

  16. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for
    only having 1 or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  17. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a
    sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never
    wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  18. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely
    right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

  19. Link exchange is nothing else except it is just placing the other person’s weblog link on your
    page at appropriate place and other person will also do same in support of you.

  20. fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this.
    You should proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!

  21. Great weblog here! Additionally your web site rather a lot up fast!

    What host are you the use of? Can I get your affiliate
    link in your host? I want my site loaded up as fast as yours

  22. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site, how
    could i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided
    me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit familiar of this your
    broadcast provided vibrant transparent idea

  23. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on several websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to
    another platform. I have heard great things about
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into
    it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  24. Admiring the dedication you put into your website and detailed information you offer.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  25. Hi there I am so happy I found your site, I really found you by
    error, while I was browsing on Google for something else, Regardless I
    am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    go through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the great work.

  26. A person essentially lend a hand to make seriously articles
    I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page
    and so far? I amazed with the analysis you
    made to make this actual post incredible. Magnificent process!

  27. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I
    could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience
    with something like this. Please let me know if
    you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and
    I look forward to your new updates.

  28. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful
    information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  29. Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to take a look.
    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to
    my followers! Exceptional blog and great design and style.

  30. Great items from you, man. I have take into account your stuff
    previous to and you are just too excellent. I actually
    like what you have acquired right here, really like what you are stating and the way
    wherein you are saying it. You make it enjoyable and you
    still take care of to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a terrific site.

  31. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had
    been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  32. I just like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check
    again right here regularly. I am relatively sure I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  33. I think the admin of this web site is genuinely working hard in support of his web site, for the reason that
    here every data is quality based stuff.

    1. Post

Recent Posts


  1. Coaching
  2. Emotional Health
  3. Empowering Transformative Action
  4. Flourish
  5. Gauges
  6. Grief
  7. Grief
  8. Healthy Emotional Intelligence
  9. Mentoring Excellence
  10. Professional Supervision
  11. Reduced Risk
  12. Replenish
  13. Resources
  14. Sustainable Life
  15. Thriving Relationships
  16. Uncategorized
  17. Videos
  18. Vital Spirituality
  19. Well-Being
  20. Well-Being Mentoring