Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions When Ministry Begins to Suck the Life Out of Us

When Ministry Begins to Suck the Life Out of Us

suck the life out

In the 1992 presidential race Ross Perot coined the phrase, “giant sucking sound,” to describe his concern that a proposed treaty would cause American jobs to go overseas. I believe it aptly describes how ministry can sometimes feel to church leaders. Every day church ministry demands that we sooth someone’s hurt feelings, solve a ministry problem, seek new ways to grow our churches, or satisfy what seems to be some church members’ increasing expectations. Ministry does feel like a “giant sucking sound” that can suck the life out of us. How do we know if our ministry is drowning us?

Major crises can certainly increase our stress as church leaders. But often lots of small stresses converge at once that unless we see the warning signs, we can end up casualties of ministry.

When Ministry Begins to Suck the Life Out Us

Several years ago several church issues converged at once and I found myself not liking ministry, feeling stressed, and not being a very nice person to be around. I had to step back to re-calibrate my life. My first step was to take inventory and define reality.

I’ve listed below what I saw happen to me as ministry stress began to t suck the life out me. As you read these, ask yourself if you can identify with any.

(See page two for Charles’s list of life-sucking burnout indicators)