5 Ways to Overcome Ministry Burnout

Laughter indeed is a wonderful medicine.
Laughter indeed is a wonderful medicine. (iStock photo )

Are you suffering from burnout? Has the stress of the ministry attacked your soul with the aggressive germs of discouragement, weariness and a general lack of creativity?

Although I am not a doctor, I do have a simple prescription for you to follow that is guaranteed to gradually put the spring back in your step and the sparkle back in your bloodshot eyes. If you are empty and listless due to the never-ending demands of ministry, there is a sure way to be restored again! If you are lingering on the edge of the black hole of melancholy and feel a panic attack coming on, it's time for you to be revived and recharged!

This is my "easy to swallow" yet "challenging to follow through" on remedy for your languishing soul:

1. Read your Bible! Don't just read your Bible when you are preparing for a teaching or a sermon ... but read your Bible and just savor it. Linger on the precious and eternal words! Take the time to marinate in the Bible's miraculous sustenance and then splash in its powerful promises. Read the Bible for you ... not just for others! God wrote the Bible just for you ... never forget it!

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2. Sing! Sing out loud! Sing in the shower! Sing in the car! Play worship music in the kitchen ... in the office ... and even when you are sleeping. Rehearse the great hymns of the faith as if your life depended on it ... because it does! Your very life depends upon your resolve to sing!

3. Go for a walk outside whether the temperature is below freezing or steamy and hot. Wander through creation and inspect the glory of God's fingerprint. Gaze in wonder at a sunset or pick a bouquet of flowers. Throw a snowball or dance in the rain. Remind yourself that God made all of this for you. Just for you. Because He did.

4. Take someone out to dinner that will pour into your life. Who is that person that you both respect and enjoy? Ask this extraordinary man or woman a multitude of questions. Interrogate them concerning what books they are currently reading ... who their heroes in life are ... and if they have any regrets. Listen to their incredible hearts and you will walk away recharged and fuller.

5. And finally ... laugh. Find something to smile about. Watch a funny movie ... call an old friend and chuckle over your childhood antics ... read a book of humor ... watch an old sitcom. Don't take yourself too seriously but find the joy and the levity of life in an old-fashioned grin. Hang out with the happiest person you know ... whether that person if four years old or 94 years old! After all ... a merry heart really does have the power to heal just like medicine!

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol at justjoyministries.com.

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