Monday, March 16, 2009

Signs of Burnout

If you have been in "church work" any amount of time you know what the term burnout means. So many times we begin to experience the beginnings stages of burnout and we miss it until we are into it pretty deep. So over the next couple of postings I want to look at the signs of burnout and the cure for burnout.

A really good example of burnout in the Bible can be found in I Kings 19 and the story of Elijah.

I am not going to go into the details of the story - you can read that. So here are some signs of burnout.

1. We depreciate our worth. We compare ourselves to others and what we expect our lives to be.

2. We devalue our work. We blame ourselves for the results of our work. We must remember that we are only responsible for obedience.

3. We exaggerate our problems. We make them bigger than they really are.

4. We abdicate our dreams. When we stop dreaming we die inside. We quit, or stop, caring or just begin to go through the routine of life.

Do you find yourself feeling burned out? . What are you doing about it? What have you done about it? Comment on it.


Jim Kane said...

Joe, sometimes we burnout from what is called compassion fatigue. We care and care and care and finally there is nothing left. Learning to say and do 'no' becomes important here.

James Stratford said...

That's a very good post. It's a shame that it happens. Many times it's us putting things on our shoulders when He'd have us "cast our cares on Him".

It's always amazed me that I/we can be doing what we're called to do, but start drifting when we put ourselves into determining the outcome in our own strength and according to our will and not His.

Thanks for a great thought provoking post.

rick osborne said...

Great post! I find that the key to staying away from burnout is my time with God. If I connect with God (in prayer and in His Word) as my first priority each day then I find that I have everything I need for that day. And by connect, I'm not talking about going through the motions. I mean staying there in His presence and in His Word until His peace and guidance settles you, refreshes you and rejuvenates you. Doing God's work without spending time with Him, seeking Him and desiring to know Him is a contradiction and it will lead to burnout every time. Many years ago, when I finally figured this out. I wrote a note for myself and put it up where I could see it daily. It said, "What is your number one priority in life?" (The answer, knowing God.) "Then what is your number one priority for today?" (The answer, spending time with Him.) When Elijah finally ran out of steam during his burnout experience God got His attention with His still small voice.