Burnout seems to come from a few factors. I’m not going to mention a personal relationship to God. If this is not present, you’ve got bigger problems than burn-out: too strong of a sense of self-sufficiency which leads us into…
- Unreasonable expectations: either coming from those around us or ourselves. I agree with Josh and Brian illustrates this point well: some people try to do too many responsibilities. This stretches them too thin to be at their effective best. Senior pastors and church members can also have expectations that are unreasonable but how we respond to those expectations is our responsibility.
- Not having a supportive supervisor: not everyone knows how to supervise (lead, challenge, support) staff. Being a good preacher does not mean that they have the ability to know how to challenge / support those around them. To Beth’s point about salary, it is true that we work for the Lord and not for men but the Lord uses those men to support our work. A salary demonstrates appreciation.
- Not finding time away: unfortunately while everyone is on vacation in the summer, the pastor is often the most busy planning summer camps, missions trips and social events. Hope suggests taking a month of “off” to recoup? Even God rested! On top of relaxation / away from the office, what about time to plan ahead? A study retreat?
I am on the outside looking in. Working at a university, I have been blessed to have a supportive supervisor, time away from my students and well-communicated expectations. But I have often felt the pull towards full-time church ministry. But when I hear thoughts from friends in full-time ministry or friends that used to be in full-time ministry, I think that I would prefer to have my face sewn to the carpet.