#1—Talk to your spouse.
I can promise you that your spouse may not completely understand what you are going through (I wrote about that here in an article titled “The Pastors Pain“), but your honesty is what they are craving the most. One of the things I am most ashamed of in regards to my battle with depression and anxiety is I did not tell Lucretia for quite a while. If I would have told her earlier, she could have understood me better and prayed for me as I battled through the issue.
#2—Talk to your leadership team.
Your personal health impacts the people you lead—period. And if you are getting near a burnout, the people you lead have a right to know. I remember finally opening up to my leadership team—and instead of throwing rocks at me, they rallied around me and helped me take some things off my plate that allowed the load I was carrying to become lighter.
Dear church leader—YOU NEED COUNSELING! You work with broken people. People do not call you to let you know that their life is going great, that their marriage has never been better and they did not wrestle with sin on that particular day. When our phone rings it is usually because someone is falling apart—and even if we have the best intentions, over time that weight will become way too heavy for us to carry.
I can honestly say that seeing a Christian counselor saved my life and my ministry. There are lots of GREAT counselors out there; however, the one I use and personally recommend is “The Blessing Ranch.” The team at this place are some of the most amazing people on the planet!!
#4—Do step one, two and three as soon as possible!!!
One of the enemy’s biggest lies he will whisper to you during this time is that this is just a season and that eventually it will get better. He’s wrong!!
If cancer was in your body, you would not dare to just leave it alone and hope that over time it would just go away.
Burnout is spiritual cancer—take the steps you need to take ASAP to make things right.
We need you in the game!
We need you fully committed to doing whatever it takes to reach as many people as possible for Jesus—and for some of us that is to slow down and ask for help.
One day we will all stand in front of someone who had an assignment that was much tougher than ours—and HE did not quit; neither should we.
The Bible says in Philippians 1:6 that God WILL complete what He has began. Hold on to this promise and do the right thing so that you can not only preach about the abundant life Jesus promises … but also so you can live it!