Ministry Burn-Out Prevention

burning matchIn preparing for the Oasis planning session the other day, I focused in on 1 Peter 5:1-7.  In those seven verses I found 10 Keys to Prevent Burn-Out in Ministry.  At the end of my praying over and considering these verses I left telling Jesus about how awesome He and His Word are.

Here are the verses (in the NLT) and my “notes”:

1And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. 5In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for“God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” 6So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

10 Keys to Prevent Burn-Out in Ministry:
  • Peter appeals to those in a leadership role within the church to care for others in 5 key ways:
  1. Care for the flock – have an active care and interest.
  2. God has entrusted the flock to you – they are God’s flock, not yours, and He has placed then in your trust.
  3. Watch over them willingly with an attitude that in doing so you are serving God.
  4. Don’t watch them grudgingly with an attitude of “what will I get out of it?” – if you notice that your attitude is “me” centered and not “God” and “others” centered it is time to adjust your focus & attitude.
  5. Lead them by your own good example – words, actions, attitude matter.
  • If you do the above five things then you can expect a reward from the Great Shepherd upon His return.
  • To aid in your long-term serving you will need to equip yourself with the following 5 items:
  1. Serve as a team – you are not a solo-shepherd but on a team of shepherds.  Being a loner and a “control freak” will only hurt you (which ultimately hurts the sheep, too).
  2. Serve your team-members with humility – when you are struggling be humble (drop your pride) and admit it to someone on your team so that you can get help.  The longer you hold onto your pride and self-sufficiency the shorter your survival rate will be and the higher the stress and eventual resentment levels will be.
  3. Remember to come to God as your power source – He, not you, are the ultimate source of strength and power in your serving.
  4. God is the one who lifts people up and honors people who serve – even when it seems that nobody is appreciating you (which hurts because the Bible commands us to look for ways to appreciate & encourage one another), remember that the ultimate Person you are seeking honor from is Jesus and His timing for doing so is the best timing.
  5. God cares for our cares & worries while we are serving His flock – in all the cares & worries that come from caring for sheep, you can be assured that He wants you to bring them to Him as He cares for both His flock and His shepherds.  He knows how best to care for us and the sheep, so don’t be shy in telling God your concerns.
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