Over the past several Mondays, Dr. Don Deel, the Mountain State Baptist Association Director of Missions, has shown us some disturbing statistics concerning ministerial failure and burnout. Those have been followed with a series of his suggestions as to how to prevent that burnout. This is the final, most important step to preventing ministerial burnout.
Spend time in the presence of the Lord. I have noticed very clearly in my own life that the more time I spend in the presence of the Lord, the easier it is to deal with the difficult people in my life. When we pray and worship, we receive from God. We are strengthened, we are lifted up, we are emotionally healed, and the burden is taken off of our shoulders. More than anyone, pastors and ministers need prayer time; they need worship time; they need time alone with the Lord. Not time when they are praying for their congregations, but time when they are just being alone with Jesus . . . time to pray for themselves, their families, and to receive strength from the Holy Spirit. This means, rising early in the morning to come into His presence.Dr. Deel concluded with this message to pastors:
Remember the wisdom of the apostles in Acts chapter six. They found they weren’t able to spend the time they needed in prayer and Bible study, because of the demands of the ministry. So, they asked the people to select deacons from amongst themselves; in order to take some of the burden of the ministry off of the apostles.
Why did they do this? So they could spend their time in prayer and study of the Word. If your leadership isn’t taking that load, then they aren’t leadership. You need to train them in their duties, and allow them the blessing of truly serving the people of God.
Be encouraged, brother. You don’t have to become a negative statistic. God wants you where you are, not so that your church can be a millstone around your neck, but so that you can be a blessing to them. There is victory for you at the foot of the cross. Take your burden there, and allow the Lord to lift you up.