How You Might Be Inviting Burnout Into Your Ministry

How You Might Be Inviting Burnout Into Your Ministry
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I asked youth workers if they’d like less of their WORK stress to follow them HOME at the end of the day.

One hundred percent said enthusiastically, “YES!”

But when I asked them what they were doing to make that happen …

… I received only a vacant sea of blank stares in return.

The more I talked to these people, the more I realized one crazy, important truth about burnout.

The most important reason that burnout creeps into our lives is because we allow it to creep into our lives.

You probably already noticed that I haven’t written very many words over at Smarter Youth Ministry in the last few weeks.

That’s because I’ve been on a paternity leave vacation, and vacation isn’t vacation if you’re working.

Furthermore, since I work in youth ministry AND blog on youth ministry, writing a youth ministry blog feels an awful lot like work.

I don’t know about you, but I only get 15 vacation days all year, and I certainly do not want to use those precious days …

… to do more work.

You can ask anyone who’s ever excelled at an endurance sport:

Sometimes the quality of your rest will dictate the quality of your work.

Truth is, most of us suck at resting.

We check and respond to emails at stoplights because we can and because we’re bored.

We take our laptops on vacations.

We pretend like Andy Stanley’s books are the kinds of things we should be reading poolside during our spring getaway.

And then we complain about how worn out we are even though we never make the decision to stop working for more than an hour.

You understand how messed up that is, right?

Stop inviting burnout into your life today.

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Aaron Helman
Aaron Helman is on a mission to help end the epidemic of youth worker burnout. He writes at Smarter Youth Ministry to help youth workers with their biggest frustrations – things like leading volunteers, managing money, and communicating effectively. He is also the youth minister at Firehouse Youth Ministries in South Bend, Indiana.

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