The philosophical ideas to conquering burnout are easy to talk about. If we could overcome the “shoulds” in our world we could deal. Taking time for the Lord is not a revolutionary idea. However, I more often hear excuses that involve our schedules. I have made them, “Well, I MUST do that, and that is expected of me, and I can’t help it.”. I lived off sugar and rarely slept. My health fell apart. So I needed order.
Here are some practical factors to consider in your schedule:
- The “Have To” Factor:
In your scheduling what have you been told by leadership is yours no matter what? What are those things you must do that no one else can do? What are the things that you can do that ONLY you can do that bring the most value to your ministry and give you the most energy? These go to the top of your list.
The Delegation Factor
A mentor once told me that someone else may only be able to perform a task 80% as well as I can, however, if it frees me up to do what is most valued then I need to let it go. Wise words to live by. What CAN you give away? I hear your excuses and I stomp them out. It is not more work. It actually gives you more time in the long run. You never know a parent, volunteer, church, or staff member may actually have been waiting for you to invite them to use their gifts and talents by doing something that was yours.
The Priority Factor
So you have too many things on your list that your Senior Pastor or direct leadership says you are not allowed to give away? You can’t move fast enough or accomplish enough? Ask them what they want at the top of your list. I regularly sit down with my “boss,” show them what’s on my plate and ask what top 3 things they need me to be working on. This helps immediately to know how to put all of your “to do’s” in order.
The Personal Factor
My husband is amazing at having boundaries. Others of us not so much. Make sure you are taking time for Bible Study and time with the Lord that is NOT preparing for teaching in any way. Sometimes to best bring our lives out of chaos we must create some order. Schedule in date nights, family time, and vacations in a manner that is written down and NON negotiable.
As youth people too often we make excuses for our disorganization. Just yesterday an acquaintance said to me, “You know youth pastors, they are just flighty.” The inclination to just “fly by the seat of your pants” is one of the deep roots of burnout. In any sort of “giftings” test I take, administration is at the bottom of my list. Funny thing is, many people are shocked at this. Why? I have learned this behavior.