Discover that burnout doesn’t have to be a necessary evil but an opportunity to tap into the amazing grace of Jesus Christ! This week, Leslie shares key truths she has learned from serving over 20 years in the trenches of Christian ministry. Learn how to surrender your expectations for life, ministry, and more and adopt a Christ-focused mindset that is set on the Cross – not comfort – as the ultimate goal!
2 Corinthians 11:23-28
2 Timothy 4:7
1 John 4:4
Christian culture has gotten accustomed to accepting burnout as a common and normal concept in the church today. From personal experience, there were many moments in my own ministry journey where I have been tempted towards burnout. These key biblical principles are what has kept me continuing to say yes to the call of God on my life even during seasons when I was emotionally and spiritually depleted. I have experienced firsthand that these truths from the Word of God will help us stay the course when it comes to fulfilling the call of God on our lives!
Three Key Principles for Overcoming Burnout:
- Be Ready for the Battle
Most of us do not realize that the minute we reach out to impact even one life for Christ, we have stepped out onto a battlefield. We enter Christian ministry, or even our Christian lives, expecting that our purpose and goal is to experience personal fulfillment and, as a result, become intensely disillusioned when the onslaught of attack comes our way.
Instead flip your ministry perspective and rejoice that we are not helpless against enemy attack but have been equipped for the battle if we use the weapons Jesus has given us to resist the enemy. We must remember that greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world (see 1 John 4:4). The most important way to keep from burnout is to take the authority you have in Christ and resist the enemy in how he is attempting to meddle in your life.
2. Be Ready to Sacrifice
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to surrender your expectations for ministry and check if you are stepping into ministry for personal fulfillment or to pour out your life for Jesus Christ. We must be willing to love sacrificially because choosing ministry means choosing a harder road. Amy Carmichael reminds us, “If I put my own happiness before the well-being of the work entrusted to me; if, though I have this ministry and have received much mercy, I faint, then I know nothing of Calvary love…”
If we put our own whims, happiness, and comfort above the work that has been entrusted to us by God, we will end up disillusioned, exhausted, and burned out. Instead, choose sacrificial love over personal success. Realize that while there are rewards to ministry, but there are many, many difficulties.
3. Go After God’s Grace
Get into the focused mindset of a spiritual athlete and remember that the aim life isn’t ease. “Easy” doesn’t get results, and Gospel-centered ministry is not meant to be a comfortable hobby; it is a cross, one in which we take up daily.
Look at the ministry example of Christ! His ministry was not built after pleasure-seeking but after self-denial. The Apostle Paul is another example to us in the intense ministry weights he carried with ease because of God’s grace (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-28).
Choose to go after God’s grace. Remember, God’s grace is the supernatural, enabling power that God gives us to say yes to His calling on our lives. Becoming a spiritual athlete is not trying to win or earn God’s favor through our own strength and self-discipline. It simply means counting the cost and following the Narrow Way of the Cross with joy! That is the mindset that enables us to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).
Join us at our next Set Apart Conference: Victorious Living here.
Inspiring Lives of Christians Who Overcame Burnout:
CT Studd Cricketeer and Pioneer, Norman P. Grubb
Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar, Janet & Geoff Being
A Chance to Die, Elisabeth Elliot
Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor
The Little Woman, Christine Hunter