We hear the term “burnout” used in conversation almost everyday. “I have a stressful job.” is a phrase used almost as much as “Good morning.”
Pastoral ministry is certainly not exempt from the strains and stresses of being in the “people business”. With each passing year the challenge to minister effectively grows at a much faster rate than many ministers feel they are equipped to handle.
“But there’s the flip side: I waited too long. I’ve seen other pastors make this mistake too. By the time they take a sabbatical, it’s too late. I’d much rather see pastors take sabbaticals when they can devote them to growth and recovery rather than recovery only.” (Darryl Dash)
Consider these stats:
“Our problem is that we hate rest. We fill every nook of our lives with things to do, skimp on our vacations, and refuse to take days for rest.” (Darryl Dash)
Here’s more from Matt Adir
“We’re often tempted to see rest as a curse.” (Darryl Dash)
Here’s more from Tim Parsons.
Here more from Ryan Nelson
So there you have it, the challenge, the climate and the comeback of burnout.
The stats above are not going to change very soon:) So we have to learn to live within the tension of ministry life.
Do you see yourself anywhere in the 8 symptoms?
Of the 15 suggestions in the Comeback which ones do you have in place and which ones do you stink at?
Taking care of our bodies is a spiritual issue and no one is going to do it for us. What’s your first step?
Once a month, I write for rookiepreacher.com and when Brandon and Joe announced their new book I jumped at the chance to get an advanced copy. “Preaching Sticky Sermons” is a book you should have in your library. The tag line is: “The Complete Practical Guide to Preparing, Writing, and Delivering Memorable Sermons” and they deliver on the promise.
They divide the book into 4 sections:
The book has many strengths and here are 3 that stand out for me:
Here’s an example of what I mean:
“Once you have the single, main passage identified, read it, study it, and then answer these 5 questions:
1. What do I, or others believe that goes against this text?
2. What do I or others do that goes against this text?
3. How might some people interpret this text in a way that resolves the tension of application and action?
4. What problem in life does this text address?
5. How do people justify that problem in their lives so they don’t have to deal with it?”
I know we all do this in one way or another but having these questions and filling them in as you study will help keep you in the passage, keep you practical and speed up your study.
However, you want to say it, “soup to nuts”, “beginning to end”, “A-Z”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, Joe and Brandon have created a great resource for preachers whether you are a beginner or a veteran.
Don’t just take my word for it here are some other reviews.
To close, here are a few of my favourite (I’m Canadian) quotes from each major section of the book.
Great Preaching Begins With Great Preparation:
Write For Maximum Impact:
Deliver Intentionally and Powerfully:
We were getting ready to take off from Monterrey International Airport in Mexico. We had just spent a wonderful week at Possibilities House For Children. After walking down the narrow aisle, contorting to put my luggage in the overhead compartment, doing a twist and a side move, I ended up sitting next to a fellow Canadian.
After exchanging pleasantries we moved to the “tell me about yourself” part of the conversation. She was in Mexico on business, a mom of two and was looking forward to going home. As we talked about travel, she mentioned her husband flies each week. The territory for his work is literally the Nation of Canada. Some weeks take him from the East Coast to the West Coast (5000 Miles). Needless to say, his frequent flyer miles and perks must be through the roof. Continue reading…