Beware of Burnout
Daily Devotional for June 22nd
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8
Out of all the causes of failure in the life of a Christian, one of the greatest is ministry burnout. You may have already experienced it at some point. It affects all of those who have surrendered to the calling that God has placed on their life. More often than not, pastors, preachers, or bible teachers dive into their calling head first, only to leave the ministry due to burnout. Some even walk away from God all together.
What are some signs of ministry burnout? For one, when you feel yourself wearing down spiritually. When your desire to pray erodes, when bible study becomes a chore instead of a delight, when the desire to witness for God declines; when you have lost your spiritual energy to minister, etc. If these characteristics are present in your life, then you could be facing burnout.
What are some causes of ministry burnout? Many people are so caught up in ministries that are good in themselves, but it may not be the direction God wants you to minister in. Do you realize that God will empower you for the task He desires you to accomplish? However, many people burn out simply because they try to work in ministries that God hasn’t assigned them to. Therefore, the power of God will not empower them to fulfill it. You must understand that God does not empower you to do someone else’s calling. Only do what God asks you to do; nothing more.
What is the remedy for ministry burnout? Paul said here that we have been given grace for the gifts that God has chosen that we fulfill. The grace of God is the power of God to fulfill the tasks that God has asked you to accomplish. We must wait on our ministering; meaning, we must wait for God to give us His power to fulfill His will for our ministry. Tragically, many people go on without the help of the Holy Spirit to empower them. Once you go on without God’s help, then burnout is imminent. It’s the same as a person rowing a boat at sea when they could be using the power of the wind to drive them. It’s only a matter of time before your strength is gone and you cannot continue at all.
If you’re burned out, then it could be a sign you are either in a ministry God has not empowered you for, or you haven’t waited for the Holy Spirit’s power to help you. There are many people who need to be reached with this gospel, but the laborers are few. Don’t accept a responsibility just because the seat is vacated. Don’t try to perform someone else’s calling. Seek God’s will for your own life and fulfill it.