Are you feeling burnt out?
Maybe you saw the short survey I posted on my social media recently. In light of the ongoing pandemic, I shared this simple question with my followers: Are you feeling burnt out? Or hopeful? As you can see, the majority were feeling burnt out, but even within that group, there was a sense of hope. It is hard to imagine both existing in the same space in 2021.
The last number of conversations I have had with pastors and volunteer leaders have centred around this one topic. Burnout comes in many forms and effects people in a variety of ways, but the general impact is the same. The pandemic has done a real number on us all, beyond the simplified statistics based on test rates and death rates, with the mental and emotional impact taking its toll. Every meeting I enter, virtually of course, people share about their daily struggles and how the stress impacts them. I know I am preaching to the choir here as I am sure you are all experiencing the same thing.
Servant leadership means we acquire the hurt and stress of others, and that sticks with us as leaders.
So what are you doing about it? The first thing is recognizing the effects of burnout on you and your ministry…
Loss of empathy.
Feeling worn out all the time.
A lack of passion and purpose.
Avoiding people and the responsibilities they represent.
Maybe you could add to the list?
I know when I encountered a crippling level of burnout I saw all those things and more manifest themselves in my life. It impacted all my relationships and changed my outlook on life, causing some irreparable changes, and forcing me to find ways to heal. Admitting where I needed help was the starting point and then taking steps to grow was necessary. Things are different now, and I can see how God worked through even the worst of situations. And at the top of the list are the people he placed in my life, some of whom I still walk with today.
If you are needing help from someone, don’t hesitate to make contact. If you need help beyond a friend or a coach, there is no shame in seeking it out, and there are many great resources out there. I offer coaching and a listening ear to those who lead others, helping to define purpose and providing encouragement along the way. If you have an objective to clarify, a problem to work out, or would just like to talk through an issue with someone outside of your circles, I am available. If you know someone who could benefit from this, please pass my information along. It could be with your team, if you would like, but my focus here is obviously on you as an individual leader.
We all crave purpose, joy, and care, in what we do and in what we see as a fulfilling life. Now is a great time to engage a conversation about restoring these things, no matter what 2021 throws our way.