If you have served in ministry for any length of time, you may have hit the proverbial wall, that place where you run out of steam. It can happen even when you're serving wholeheartedly at the top of the "mountain." Even when you're involved in ministry that makes your heart pound with excitement, your soul swell with the love of the Lord, and you know the good that you are doing, there may still come a time when you simply lose your fire. Last week we discussed many from the Bible who served in ministry and asked ourselves where we would be had they allowed Burn Out to stand in the way of ministry.
The following are some things to keep in mind when serving in ministry in any capacity. These are practical items to consider before we hit Burn Out and also things to take to heart if/when we find ourselves exhausted and out of gas.
1. Be sure you are filling up with God's Word daily. Most of us have heard it asked, "if we don't refill ourselves often and consistently, how will we be able to keep pouring out to others?" This is such a simple, yet profound truth. God's Word is the bread of life (John 6:35). It is the water that keeps us from thirsting (John 4:14). If we are not reading and actively studying the scriptures, we will be toiling using our own strength. We will not toil for long when that is the case. We will inevitably grow tired and weak and frustrated.
2. Evaluate why you are serving in that particular ministry. Are you serving for the right reasons? Reasons why NOT to serve in a ministry:
3. Remember that it's in our weakness that His strength is made perfect. When we serve the Lord, we are doing so to glorify Him. The moment we take on our task, thinking we can handle it without Him, we set ourselves up for failure and pride.
What can you do if you are already in the throes of Burn Out?
1. Pray. Ask God to show you where you need to make changes.
2. Get back into the Word. Once we've asked God to reveal to us what changes need to be made, His Word is one of the ways He will speak to us.
3. Make time to rest. Burn Out, particularly that stems from over-scheduling and over-commitment, requires rest. Take some time to reevaluate and quiet yourself so that you can hear what God has to say to you.
Sometimes Burn Out happens because of a spiritual and emotional high such as an event like a conference, publishing a book, a meet and greet, etc. In that case, resting and taking time to refuel spiritually is necessary. Staying in tune with the Lord will keep us on track and alleviate much of Burn Out.
Devotional written by Mandy.