How to Recover from Burnout in Business or Ministry

How to Recover from Burnout in Business or Ministry

Do you ever wonder if there's actually a place of peace for your life? A place where you can know that you're being and doing all God's created you for? That you're able to be incredibly effective in what you're doing and also rest in God?

Sometimes I do.

And I think that it's often because I feel like I have to “do” or “accomplish” something to be valuable. Because there are so many competing priorities. That I have to “earn” the right to rest.

If you're like me, that might describe you, too. And it's a common story. It affected Sean Steckbeck. And Paul Yoder talked about it too.

Paul, who founded DonorElf, shared a time when he was really pushing hard and became incredibly tired. He was working full time and also building and promoting DonorElf pretty heavily. And that began to take its toll. He was wondering and praying about what to do and God shared this with him:

When you get burnt out, take a Sabbath.

That might not seem like a remarkable truth. But if you're struggling to keep your feet under you. If you're feeling overwhelmed. If you've believed the lie that your value comes from what you've done rather than God…

Then it can take a moment of revelation to realize that you might just be worshiping an idol. Even if you think you're serving God.

Paul talked about that, too.

In Paul's case, he took a “Sabbath” or a partial sabbatical for a month. He was still working but he cut back his time with DonorElf to only basic support. And God grew his business anyway.

He now serves more missionaries than he ever did before.

And that brings us to the real challenge: will we trust God?

Will we recognize that our value comes from Him and He loves us because of who He is, not what we have accomplished? Will we recognize that God is more interested in faithful obedience than our perceptions of success? That His Kingdom is immeasurably more valuable than our fiefdoms.

Even if that obedience is simply resting and abiding. Maybe those are the sweetest times when we realign ourselves to His priority.

If you're in that place of overwhelm now, consider how God might be leading you to rest in Him. Maybe in quiet times. Maybe by taking a day off. Maybe by taking a season off.

Or if you're all good, consider whether there's someone who needs to hear this.

But in either case, start by asking God. Follow His leading. Obey Him. Love Him.

when you get burnt out take a sabbath

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What an Autocorrect Error Taught Me About God’s Kingdom Culture

What an Autocorrect Error Taught Me About God’s Kingdom Culture

Does God ever speak to you in unexpected ways? At unexpected times?

Sometimes He does for me. LIke what happened this morning (as I'm writing this – you'll be reading it later).

This morning I was minding my own business. I had the coffee going, I was reading the Bible on my phone before I hopped in the shower, and the Verse of the Day caught my eye. As I pondered it, I had no idea that God was about to use my phone's autocorrect to show me something.

Sure, God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. Sure, He spoke to Balaam through a donkey. But speaking to me through an autocorrect error. That's new.

It was James 3, verse 16, which reads “Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.” (NCV)

As I pondered it, I wanted to share it on Facebook with a comment because I thought it was important. My comment was ultimately intended to look like this.

But when I typed out the word “culture” in my comment, my phone tried to correct it to “vulture.” And I had to go back to “fix” it.

I don't know why.

But that led me to think of this

Isn't that just like God?

To remind us of his amazing goodness in stark contrast to all of the things that could try to steal His abundant life from us. To mar the image of His creation on the earth!

Why am I sharing this?

Because now that God's shown this to me, I need to pause and consider whether what I think, say, and do brings His abundant life or preys on the injured or dead. Because that's one of the ways that He transforms us into His image, taking us from glory to glory.

And maybe He has another step for you – from where you are now, to where you're closer to Him.

a culture of vultures

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Overcoming Memories of Your Past in Missions, Church Planting and the Marketplace

Overcoming Memories of Your Past in Missions, Church Planting and the Marketplace

Overcoming Memories of Your Past in Missions, Church Planting, and the Marketplace

Do you ever feel like you're unworthy to do something God's calling you to do because of something in your past? Or does a memory of who you used to be just take the proverbial wind right out of your sails?

Whether it's an ill-spoken word, an error, or a sin issue, there's an enemy who just LOVES to remind us of who we used to be. Sometimes years ago. Sometimes minutes ago.

This enemy likes to accuse us (Revelation 12, v. 10). Whether we're “senders” or “goers”, there's always an opportunity for this kind of accusation. We hear it in the marketplace. We hear it in foreign and domestic missions.

So the question follows: What should we do?

I've heard some say “When the enemy reminds me of my past, I remind him of his future.” And I guess that's OK. But I don't feel like it addresses the real issue. You see, the issue isn't his future. The issue is whether what Christ did on the cross is sufficient. It's whether or not we are truly new creations. That our futures are in Heaven.

So, I prefer to go back to what Laura Beth Harbin shared when I talked with her.

When Jesus died on the Cross, He said, “It is Finished!

Laura Beth Harbin

And He wasn't kidding. It is finished.

So, if you find yourself feeling like your past is trying to pull you back down, remind yourself that Jesus said that it is finished. He's done the work. You are a new creation.

And you can live like it because His Spirit lives in you.

 

when jesus died on the cross he said it is finished

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Is this causing you to miss God opportunities?

Is this causing you to miss God opportunities?

Have you ever gone “searching” for God's will?

I don't know if you remember the 1990s and 2000s like I do, but I remember countless books, messages, and more that were all focused on one message – finding God's will for your life.

Some called it calling. Some called it purpose. Most focused on either hearing from God for vision or searching our hearts for preferences, skills, and giftings.

I'm not saying those were bad. In fact, I think that a big part of walking in our calling is knowing ourselves. Sometimes because we God will call us to walk where we are strong so that we can serve well. Other times so that we can walk in His strength.

But I think that we missed it in at least one way. Or at least I missed it in at least one way.

The way I understood this stuff was that I should figure out what God wanted for my life so that I could do it. That's partly true. But it's missing an essential element that Denise Piñeiros shared with us.

Always jump when God says, ‘jump.' Never take an opportunity He gives you and waste it.

Denise Piñeiros

Now I think that walking in our purposes or callings is more about simple obedience and walking with God rather than walking away and doing stuff for God.

Looking back, I see many opportunities where I could have done a better job of:

  • Walking with God
  • Being obedient
  • Loving others
  • Focusing on God and others rather than myself

While I still think it's valuable to know ourselves, I think that knowledge alone will never reveal our callings to us. All it will do is point out where we are weak or strong.

Yes, we're all fearfully and wonderfully made. But we are only shadows of the Maker. And while understading is good, “The way you discover your gifts is really by serving not by searching.” (Hat tip to Loren Cunningham)

always jump when god says jump.

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Learn how to lead in the small things

Learn how to lead in the small things

For some time now, I've been editing Scott McClelland's podcast, the Foundational Missions Leadership Moment. Like many, I think I probably “aspire to greatness” and I'm continually in the process of reminding myself that Christ told us to take the low place a the table.

We may not all be “LEADERS” (notice the emphasis on our perspective) but that doesn't mean that we don't lead. Many times, we probably lead and don't even realize it.

In fact, I believe that we're all called to lead in various spheres. Some lead in families, some in governments, some in churches, some in the workplace. And, truth be told, most of us lead in some capacity in a variety of places.

And we want to be good at it. That's honorable.

But rather than helping fund a multi-billion dollar industry focused on finding and selling the “next best thing” in leadership, I think we can make incredible progress if we remember (and practice) one simple thing that Amber Barron shared.

Learn to lead in the small things.

— Amber Barron

We often focus on the “big things.” Being faithful when the chips are down. Making the hard call when there's a lot at stake.

But real leadership is often forged when we're faithful to teach a class. Or to help the poor. Or be patient with our children. Or love our enemies.

It may not be glamorous. It might not be recognized.

But if we won't be faithful in those times, we won't be faithful with the bigger things either. And whatever new perspectives, tactics or strategies will be of little eternal value. Because, while those resources and perspectives can be valuable, the real learning often comes when we apply what we learn.

It happens in the trenches. When we're faithful in the small things.

 

Learn how to lead in the small things.

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We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.
Don’t Just Teach a Man to Fish

Don’t Just Teach a Man to Fish

I'm almost certain you've heard this “proverb”

Give a man a fish, you'll feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime.

The basic idea is that it's more worthwhile to provide training and resources for those in need than to simply give a handout. Of course, like many “proverbs,” it's not exactly perfect. There's a time and a place for training and resourcing. There's also a time and a place for aid. And I don't want to discount either of those.

But there's another step beyond just giving a man a fish or teaching a man to fish. Because the analogy only addresses the needs of a single person. What about a community of people?

Following the metaphor, can you give a community a fish? Maybe.

Can you teach a community to fish? Possibly?

But what if we could take it a step further? What if we could invest in a way that creates generational health, abundance, and interdependency?

Not dependency on an outsider. Not dependency on a government. Not dependency on an organization. But interdependence with each other for mutual blessing.

That's the kind of thing Rich Frazer was talking about when he shared this perspective on leadership training:

Don't just teach a man to fish.
Why not teach a man to teach a man to fish?

– Rich Frazer

That's the next step of what Christ did for us. Metaphorically, he gave us a fish. Then He taught us to fish. Then He taught us to teach others to fish.

That's how we see redemption play out

  • We come to Christ.
  • We are transformed.
  • We bring others to Christ.
  • We see them transformed.
  • We teach them to bring others to Christ.

Whether it's leadership, poverty, or discipleship, the principle applies. Don't just give a man (or a woman) a fish. Don't just teach them to fish. Do all of that but then take it a step further and teach them to teach others to fish.

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We're raising funds to help Global Initiative equip the Church to share God's love with Muslims. Visit our fundraiser page for more information about Global Initiative and how YOU can be involved.

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