Home Pastors 5 Signs a Pastor is Overcommitted

5 Signs a Pastor is Overcommitted

This could look like regularly skipping meals, not as a discipline of fasting, but simply because you couldn’t find time. (If you do eat, it’s a quick bite the nutritional value of which is largely suspect.) It may also involve a drop-off in your commitment to your exercise regimen.

It may even just be that you are always in such a rush to get out the door every day that you don’t shave regularly or that you spend so much time working that you are long overdue for a haircut. 

If you aren’t eating, exercising, or grooming yourself, it’s probably not because you’re just too lazy to do so. It’s that you are overcommitted and simply don’t have the time or energy to do anything beyond the bare minimum. 

4. You’re Becoming Less Efficient in Tasks That Are Normally Easy for You or That You Used To Enjoy.

If you are overcommitted, you may continue to put in more hours at work only to find that you are actually getting less done. You’re distracted, get tired easily, and have to fight through easy tasks like replying to simple emails, or even the tasks you love and are most important, like preparing your Sunday sermon. 

If this is you, what you’ll find is that refusing to incorporate regular rhythms of rest into your week is not only unhealthy for you, it just isn’t pragmatic. And the fact that you feel the need to skip rest in order to get ahead (or catch up) on important tasks is a sign that you are simply attempting to do too much and need to delegate and empower other members of your team.

5. Your Family Is Seeing You Less.

Pastors don’t work a 9-5 schedule. They are often called to hospitals at odd hours, they sometimes must take evening meetings, and the weekend is crunch time. Even with all that, wise pastors who understand that their first ministry is to their family find ways to connect with their family and spend quality time with them. 

If you find that you’re starting to cheat on family time, whether it is sitting at your laptop while the rest of the family enjoys an evening in, or you simply aren’t there, it’s a sure sign that you need to remove some things from your schedule or task list. 

You need to be present for your family. And even more than simply being physically in the same room with them, you need to have times where you are present and undistracted. When you’re overcommitted, that’s too big an ask—and that’s a problem. 

Learn To Embrace Your Limits.

For as much as pastors work to help their people see that they cannot earn God’s favor by their own efforts and are in constant need of his grace, they often need to preach that message to themselves more than anybody else. Not because they don’t believe it, but because we are prone to forget—especially when we are working to help others find wholeness and healing. 

But pastors cannot give their people what they have not received themselves. So regularly commit, and recommit, to only working within your God-given limitations. 

Your limitations have beauty. They enable you to empower and raise up other leaders to use their gifts. They allow you to see all the ways that God continues to work, even as you take an evening or entire day off.