Burn Out!! ?? - Printable Version

+- ZionFireFriends (https://zionfire.com/forum)
+-- Forum: Ministry Round Table (https://zionfire.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=6)
+--- Forum: General Worship Discussions (https://zionfire.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=39)
+--- Thread: Burn Out!! ?? (/showthread.php?tid=727)

Burn Out!! ?? - sonworshiper - 03-16-2007

No, not me. Smile I'm good to go.

I just heard from a woman I know, that some friends of mine are no longer going to church. . . "they need a rest". What does that mean? I knew by the tone of her voice not to push the conversation so I didn't. But, I have been thinking on it since then.

What happens to people--"normal congregants" to get "tired" of church and need a rest? How do people in ministry positions get to the point where they "need a rest"?

Do we "over-use" people? Do we put them in the place where they almost "dare not" resign, for fear of people thinking the worst of them? Do people need to be given permission to quit? Do people need to learn to say "no!"? Should we learn to do with less help? Should we pay more attention to people in ministry and pay attention to the "signs" of pre-burnout? If so--what are the "signs"????

I heard someone once say that "Christians cannot ever burn out for God". Concept being, if they are doing what they should be doing for God, with God's help.





Burn Out!! ?? - DeanZF - 03-16-2007

Yes, I have PLENTY of opinions on this one, actually. Surprised??

I am one who DOES believe in burnout. I also believe that it CAN be sin, but also believe that most of the time it's not. Poor management, perhaps, but not necessarily sin. Ever heard the phrase "burning the candle at both ends"? It results in burnout, IMHO.

There is a wonderful old song that says, "The zeal of God has consumed me, it burns in my soul, A raging fire that keeps burning (or A driving force that cannot be stopped], a fire that cannot be quenched." There's a litany of stuff that follows this thought, talking about the bush that burned without being consumed, that God is a consuming fire, that we are to be totally attentive to God ("consumed" with), but not so much that we exclude everything else and exhaust ourselves (consumed by).

Let's face it. We really, really want to be used of God in our walks with Him, and in what we perceive to be the ministries that He has appointed for us. It is very possible to overextend ourselves, isn't it? And if we do that too many times without proper restorative resting times, we become depleted, sometimes to the point of exhaustion! Been there, done that. Was it "sin"? I'm not sure. I'm sure that arguements could be wrought both ways. I don't think that's an issue. More the issue is what is the burnout to do with the facts of being burned out??

And on another hand, not everyone who claims burnout IS burned out!! A goodly number of folks in my collection of acquaintances have walked away from church, church duties, personal commitments, marriages, financial obligations, and a host of other stuff, claiming burnout in one form or another. Some of that has frankly been hurt feelings. Other very honest reasons have included abject frustration with inept leadership, abject frustration with inept followership, inability to wait for God to change the situation to match their own perspective of what it OUGHT to be.

Some folks put up the white surrender flag of burnout when they are too tired and worn out to carry on. Many more, I fear, put it up at the first sign of having their spiritual batteries used past their own comfort point. Not everyone, but again, more than would honestly admit it, I fear.

Does that make any sense, or was it an end of the week mindless rant/ramble??

Burn Out!! ?? - HelenaZF - 03-16-2007

In a way, I look at spiritual burnout as a cop out...and maybe even sin.

"Do not become weary in well-doing..." it says somewhere. I believe that says the responsibility to guard against weariness is ours. And if we are "burnt out", we probably let ourselves get that way and can't rightly blame it on anyone else.

I don't know that even if we saw signs, we could head off something like that. I guess all we can do is be encouraging to one another in whatever way we can. But how people respond to that encouragement is up to them and their own sovereign will. It can get to be a very tangled web of motivations when it comes to why we do too many things, the wrong good things, or just whatever it is that makes us "need a rest". Each of us is finding his own way...working out his salvation with fear and trembling...in the best of circumstances.

But what the body does is show concern, point out truth, and come along-side as we work it all out.

Burn Out!! ?? - flaglady - 03-17-2007

A dear friend of mine, one I admired as being one-on-one with God and very prophetic, ect., etc., decided he 'needed a rest' from church. That was 2 years ago.

I keep in touch with him because I love him to bits and couldn't imagine not keeping in touch - besides which he often rings me for medical advice (he calls me his 'on-call doc'!). He used to meet with his prayer partner every week and I have personally witnessed people get saved and healed by his minstry. His prophetic words were legendary in the neighbourhood.

But, it seemed, his unsaved wife and family were always pecking at him about the time he devoted to the church and to prayer, like they felt they were being deprived of something. So in the end, he decided to take the path of least resistance and drop out.

And now? He's totally back-slidden, uses swear words regularly (though not to me) and never reads his bible or prays. He works as a gang leader for the local corporation (IOW, he's a bin man!) so his working environment and colleagues is somewhat course. But for years his reupation there was such that they used to call him 'the priest' and young new recruits were put under his tutilage so they would get taken for a ride by the older, rougher men.

I tell you, I weep for this man. He was such a man of God but he seems to have shed all that spirituality. And though I talk to him about God and he still seems as if he hasn't rejected the concept, I see no signs of him coming back to the church - or any church!

What a loss!

Burn Out!! ?? - DeanZF - 03-17-2007

<QUOTE author="sonworshiper,Mar 16 2007, 07:18 AM">
sonworshiper,Mar 16 2007, 07:18 AM Wrote:Do we "over-use" people? Do we put them in the place where they almost "dare not" resign, for fear of people thinking the worst of them? Do people need to be given permission to quit? Do people need to learn to say "no!"? Should we learn to do with less help? Should we pay more attention to people in ministry and pay attention to the "signs" of pre-burnout? If so--what are the "signs"????
These are good questions that kind of got overlooked in my rant and to some extent in the answers of others, I think.

Oh goodness, YES, some churches "over-use" people, especially smaller churches where there is obviously great need of lots to do with a small talent/energy pool. That's hard to avoid. One way is to utilize the concept of contracts where we commit to something for a pre-specified period of time that's renewable, but not without review. "Over-use" can be--or be pretty close to--spiritual abuse, IMO.

Most folks want or need to be needed, so being put in ANY place is putting them in a place where they dare not resign either for fear of people's opinions as you stated, or for fear of resigning and finding out that they weren't really all that needed. That's a devastating feeling for people who need to be needed.

Yes, people need to be given permission to stop doing. We are, after all, human BEINGS, not human DOINGS, right? Again, I think that it's critical that the permission be given in advance and that we think in terms of definable seasons so that there is no guilt associated with not renewing the agreement.

CAN we learn to do with less help? What is the vision for how ministry is accomplished in YOUR parish/congregation?? Not how it's done in the body up the road or across town, but what is God's expectation for how things work in YOUR section of His Kingdom? That should be the overriding factor for how the church does its business. In addition to that, reasonable timetables for small congregations are a good thing so that unreal and thus unfulfilled expectations of large church benefits in small church environs are not a real source of disappointment.

Should we pay more attention to those in leadership? YES, especially if we, too, are in leadership. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The answer is YES, YOU ARE!!! Paul's admonitions to us about confronting our brothers and sisters who are in sin or in danger of going there are substantive. "IF YOU SEE YOUR BROTHER IN SIN, GO TO HIM QUIETLY..." There's another that talks about gentle rebukes because it may be your turn to be likewise rebuked. If burnout is a sin, do we not owe each other the kingdom courtesy of pointing out those signs that concern us, and see if we can help head off calamity???

What are the signs of pre-burnout? This could be a topic in and of itself, I think.

Major attitude shifts. Tone of voice. Lack of patience with others where there once was patience. Deep cynicism. Deeply critical spirit where there was none.

Obvious troubles on the home front that are not being dealt with.

Same on the church front.

Same on the work front.

And if the work or home front changes and energy is being put to getting that in order, that can cause some of the other things to come up, too.

Distance building between the burned out and others. "Backing away" from things in general.

These are some that come to mind. And the caveat is that not all of these are exclusive to the thought of burn-out. CAN be, but aren't always, IME.

And some of these can be responses to dramatic changes in leadership or rules of ministry. I'm probably exhibiting some of these right now, but don't feel as though I'm burned out or burning out.

Anyone else want to address the symptoms of burnout or of pre-burnout?

Burn Out!! ?? - sonworshiper - 03-18-2007

I like the idea of a contract, although realistically, I don't know if that would fly around here. But I shall pray about it and then mention it to my pastor (and/or Council of Elders).

There is also another angle, "accepting" people's resignations. I have always found in general that people do not want to accept anyone's resignations. To me, they know--between them and God--that it is time to quit, end of story. But I'm cut and dried that way. Robyn Green who use to be with Morning Star Ministries told me once that I see everything black and white, there are no shades of grey. Oddly enough, the older I get the more I am that way! Smile

It sometimes makes me chuckle as well, when you sense this feeling from others that they are "concerned" (for lack of a better word) that you not be over-used and burn out. I know when I'm getting "spent". Been there, done that, am not going to repeat it again.

Setting up solid boundaries, IMO is a great way to not get "spent". Our Home Group is doing Andy Stanley's dvd series "Discovering the Will of God". It's very good. I've seen if before at a women's retreat last year. . . The last session he talks about Nehemiah, rebuilding the city walls. Sanballat (who Stanley equates to Satan) sends men to get Nehemiah to come see him for a meeting "to talk". Obviously a ploy to get him away from his task at hand. Nehemiah replied: "I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down". This went on 2 or 3 times and each time Nehemiah replied the same: "I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down". Point being. . .we need to find out what our "great thing" is that we are suppose to be doing for God. . . and stick to it.

For me, since that retreat, I have streamlined my life and whittled it down to our church. Outside of our family, I am first called by God to lead worship, secondly called to be an Elder at our church. Those two things I do with all I have in me. . . .other than that, "I am doing a great thing and I cannot come down".

End of rant. (this one anyway)