I am so excited to share a great opportunity with our readers! Beginning Monday, October 3, 2022, 12:00 AM PDT through Friday, October 7, 2022, 11:59 PM PDT, we will be offering a free download of my new book Burnout and Beyond!
Burnout is a very serious issue facing Christian leaders today. The world of ministry is fast-paced and emotionally involved, and leaders within this community bear a weighty load of responsibility for the people they work with and for. Burnout is an unseen and, until recently, widely ignored matter. It can be difficult to see the symptoms until it is too late. A leader can become too physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually fatigued to continue their work. I personally experienced the fall into serious burnout and the repercussions on my life. That is why, after I recovered, I chose to research the psychology of burnout and eventually write about my experiences. My book Burnout and Beyond is, in part a memoir, a letter to my loved ones, a companion for others in ministry, a guide on how to avoid burnout or heal from it, and an offering of hope for those in dark places themselves.
The Three Casualties
There are many stresses that can lead to burnout. I recently have found an apt comparison in looking at types of casualties in war. There are two obvious types of deaths in a war. Deaths from enemy fire, and from friendly fire, coming (most often accidentally) from allies. Likewise, in the world of ministry, we face stress from outside the walls of our church; false accusations, anger and misunderstandings. We face stress from inside the church; disputes between co-workers, needs of the congregation and miscommunication. Both types of stress can lead to burnout. However, there is a third casualty in war and ministry. I recently learned that in World War I, more American soldiers and sailors died from influenza and pneumonia than were killed by enemy weapons. The poor general well-being caused by lack of hygiene, basic medical supplies, sleep, food and warm, dry clothes killed more humans than other causes. This has such a clear parallel to ministry. The cause that most often leads to burnout is simply not taking care of yourself. I call this a systemic casualty.
It can Happen to You
Systemic stresses that lead to burnout seem mundane and unimportant, especially compared to financial burdens or human conflict. However, small things like checking your work email during your off hours, neglecting to take vacation days, or working through a cold when you should be resting combine to deplete health in a way that results in burn out. The deepest systemic issue could be that leaders in ministry have a habit of ignoring their own needs. Even as they grow fatigued, and thinking that burnout can’t happen to them. That is what I thought too!
Burnout and Beyond looks at many kinds of stressors, but primarily focuses on the danger of depletion from systemic stresses and how to chart a path towards health. It is not just a book for those in the midst of burnout, but for friends and family of those in burnout and for anyone in ministry who wants to live a more balanced and healthy life.
Continue reading with these articles…
- Emotional Health
- Healthy Emotional Intelligence
- Mentoring Excellence
- Professional Supervision
- Reduced Risk
- Sustainable Life
- Thriving Relationships
- Vital Spirituality
- Well-Being Mentoring