When Discouragement Becomes Dangerous

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From “Dangerously Discouraged” in the
November/December 2008 issue of Children’s Ministry
magazine…

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1. I look forward
to my ministry work.
2. Despite minor
frustrations or even failures, I generally feel a sense of
accomplishment when it comes to my ministry.
3. I feel motivated
when I think of my ministry.
4. I am energized
when I imagine the future possibilities of my ministry.
5. I have plenty of
support from other leaders in the church and from my pastor.
6. I have a good
relationship with my volunteer team.
7. When we have a
ministry success, it’s really a team success.
8. I feel we
successfully connect to the parents my ministry serves.
9. My contribution
to the ministry is a source of personal fulfillment.
10. I would like to
still be serving in this ministry in 5 years.
11. I feel valued by
church members.
12. I feel valued by
my leader.
13. I can’t imagine
doing anything more fulfilling than what I do now.
14. My life outside
my ministry work is healthy — I get plenty of sleep, eat a
balanced diet, and have healthy relationships.
15. In the past
three months, my life has been stable and generally good.
16. I feel hopeful
and generally positive about my future.
17. I don’t cry
easily.
18. I don’t think
others would describe me as moody.
19. I haven’t felt
hopeless or depressed except in passing moments.
20. I feel like what
I do matters and that I matter to people in my life.

If you answered “NO” to:

Less than 5 questions:
You’re dealing with the frustrations of ministry in a
healthy and normal way. Seek out a good friend outside the ministry
who’ll be your sounding board when you get frustrated. Hang onto
your positive outlook-it will serve you well!

5 to 10 questions:
You’re dealing with a moderate level of frustration that
you should take seriously. Shore up your outside-of-ministry
support with a good friend who listens well, and talk with your
leader or pastor. It’s important to deal with specific issues that
are causing you the most frustration or discouragement before your
moderate discouragement becomes worse.

More than 10 questions:
You’re dealing with discouragement, burnout, and serious
frustration. You need immediate assistance from a trusted leader
who can help you sort through issues and make a plan to overcome
your discouragement. If you have felt this way for more than even a
couple months, you may need to set an appointment with your
physician to get a regular checkup to ensure you’re not dealing
with a medical issue. Your spiritual leader can help you begin to
focus on healing yourself by taking time out to be with God. If a
ministry situation is the root of these feelings, it’s time to take
action to remedy the situation so your well-being isn’t
compromised.

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