Signs of Spiritual Exhaustion

Spiritual Exhaustion 2.1

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth

Does not become weary or tired.

His understanding is inscrutable.

Isaiah 40:28

I grew up under a pastor that hated the term “burnout”.  He was a servant who made it a priority to be present in people’s lives.  While he never really seemed to lose speed, I’m sure there were discouraging days.

After being in ministry for several years, I have come to learn that one of the greatest ways for someone to face burnout is when the people in their ministry don’t have mutual passion for God’s work.  It’s hard to “bring everyone on board” and rally the troops alone.  Burnout is sure to creep in when the work is hard, not shared, and in the middle of apathetic responses.

Other things, too, lead to spiritual exhaustion….like negative people, unsupportive leadership teams, people that you have to convince all the time, and those that just plain need constant support and help.   Not having someone in your corner to encourage and feed you is a sure way to become exhausted.

Take a moment and think about who that would be?  Who do you know that can encourage, listen, support, work with you, and help you minister?  Maybe it’s someone within your ministry that is eager to see you lead well.   Possibly you have a friend outside your ministry that can be objective, honest, and intentionally supportive.   Consider reaching out to her and “bringing her up to speed” with what you believe is the vision and direction of your ministry.  Having her on board may be the lifeline you need when others seem to drown you with negativity or doubt.

Maybe you don’t have someone in mind…that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t either.  Take a minute to write out 5 characteristics the person would have in order for you to be known by her.  Does she need to laugh a lot?  Is she able to give you helpful Scripture?  Does she have ministry experience?  What qualities would she need to have in order to be a source of life for you?  Now start praying over those 5 qualities and ask God to make clear who it is that He intends to fill them.

Ultimately, it is our Creator who never becomes weary or tired.  We can bank on His constant excitement over our ministry, His forever desire to help us grow, His overflowing reserve of life and understanding.  Praise to Him alone for being a resource and spring of life that never drains or dries out.  He is both compassionate and patient when we do feel exhausted, while being ready to press on and give you the strength to continue His greater work.

The rest of February will focus on this concept of “burnout” or “spiritual exhaustion”.  We hope you are encouraged and stick around for some more thoughts from our bloggers this month!


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