Flame Out

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You’re Alone
Even though children’s ministry can be very rewarding, it can also
be a lonely place to serve. Sometimes children’s ministry leaders
struggle with making connections outside of their ministry, and
when they have struggles it can feel as if they have nowhere to
turn. If something were to happen and you needed a helping hand or
someone to talk to, do you have anyone outside of your church you
could go to for help?

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Without others to talk with, stress and pressure can build up
inside us until we can no longer bear the burden. I’ve seen too
many overworked children’s ministers walk away, fail morally, or
suffer health problems because of bearing burdens all by
themselves. Find help through a counselor, mentor, or trusted
friend. Most importantly, go to God to restore your relationship
with him. God promises never to deny a broken and contrite
heart.


Burnout Backdraft at Home

What happens when your ministry burnout spreads into your home?
When you’re out of energy, your home life can suffer and you can
end up neglecting your spouse, kids, and friends. In addition, your
family can burn out on ministry if you’re not careful.
Here’s a simple self-test to see if your home life is in
jeopardy.

  • Do you and your family or friends do things outside of your
    church?
  • Does your family have friends outside of your church
    family?
  • Is family and friendship time free from church responsibilities
    and obligations?
  • Are you being a leader for your family like you’re being a
    leader for your church?
  • Do your children, spouse, and friends feel they’re more
    important than your church and staff?
  • Do you enjoy being with your spouse, children, and
    friends?

If you answered no to half or more of these questions, pay
careful attention that the people you love the most don’t get
burned by your ministry.

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If you answered yes to half or all, ask your spouse or a close
friend to take the same test on your behalf and compare your
answers.
Ministry service requires a partnership and sacrifice. It’s
important to keep in mind that the flames of burnout can spread
throughout your loved ones. Family counseling, mentor couples, and
accountability partners are all excellent sources to use as you
serve in ministry.

If you think you’re not at risk to burn out in ministry, you’re in
denial. Be realistic. Recognize you’re human and will have
struggles. Put in place key people who you and your family and
friends can trust to walk beside you as you serve. Set up healthy
boundaries and don’t be afraid to say no. Make time for a day of
rest. Stay fit physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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