The time and energy ministry takes can infect your family and friends or it can result in burnout and resentment. That’s why this week we’re encouraging you to watch for warning signs that ministry danger is ahead. Specifically, watch out for these three common warning signs:
Living in a Bubble
Living in a bubble might seem like a good, safe way to do ministry, locking some things in and other things out, but what about the things God wants to flow in and out of your life? Putting yourself in a bubble is a control issue. Giving your life to ministry is about giving up control. God gives you choices, but choices and control are two different things. Control might give you a false sense of security, which may feel better than vulnerability. Only God can give true security. Vulnerability isn’t a bad thing in your relationship with Him. It makes you more sensitive so you can anticipate what He can and will do as He uses you for His work.
You notice lessons and purpose in just about everything, and you want to share the challenge and application with others. Why wouldn’t everyone around you want to hear your insights? Just because God encourages and challenges you in everyday situations doesn’t mean the lessons He has for you are the best fit and timing for everyone around you. Thinking you have to teach, share, and apply everything is another attempt at control. Let God decide the critical timing of lessons and choices in others’ lives. When you choose to listen well, you will know when to stand up, sit down, speak up, and shut up.
Letting Pride Get in the Way
Jesus taught on the importance of counting the costs of giving our lives to Him. When we count the costs of ministry, we often think of time, effort, organization, resources, and teaching. What about the things that aren’t quite as easy to count — our pride, preferences, comfort, control, understanding, agenda, and goals? What are you hanging onto? When you identify it, you will find your stumbling block and help keep yourself from experiencing ministry burnout.
Remember, Jesus doesn’t ask you to give your life to ministry. He asks you to give your life to Him. Ministry simply comes out of the life you live for Him.
How do you protect yourself from burnout in ministry? Leave a comment below!