Pastor's Pondering


Senior Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Pondering can be read here, as seen in the printed church bulletin weekly.

Wrestling with Burnout

by Duane Mabee on November 11, 2020

When church leaders examine men and women for ordination or consecration, we pepper them with lots of theology and ministry questions.  We want to know what they believe and if they can support what they believe from Scripture. 

 

One question we ask is how they know that Jesus was fully God and fully human.  In support of His humanity, we expect to hear answers like: He ate, He slept, He wept, and He got tired.  Though He was God, Jesus got very tired.  Matthew 14 tells about the execution of John the Baptist – a cousin and close friend of Jesus.  When Jesus heard the news, He became emotionally and physically tired from grief and the weight of His ministry.  So, He sought to get away with His disciples to be alone.  He was human, even though He was also God.

 

Though, anyone can wrestle with burnout, those who are most at risk are those in ministry or the helping professions.  I encourage you to pray specifically for our health care professional, educators, and in-home care givers.  They may be more than tired.  They may be burned out.  If you would like to know more about what that means, I recommend the book Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro.  Burnout creates physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms, that if ignored, can have serious results. 

 

It is important to recognize the signs early and deal with them before they become a problem.  Wise people take the appropriate steps to honestly address what’s happening in their lives, rather than allow what’s happening to control them.  It is also important to be transparent about what you are dealing, both for your own sakes and to encourage others to be open and honest about whatever they may be facing.  There is no shame in getting the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual help you need.  It demonstrates wisdom.  It is OK to admit that you’re hurting and don’t have it all together.  As Matthew West says in the song Truth be Told.  Being honest is the only way to fix it.

 

Matthew West – Truth be Told. 

Lie number one you’re supposed to have it all together
And when they ask how you’re doing
Just smile and tell them, “Never better”

 

Lie number 2 everybody’s life is perfect except yours
So keep your messes and your wounds
And your secrets safe with you behind closed doors

 

Truth be told – The truth is rarely told, now

 

I say I’m fine, yeah I’m fine oh I’m fine, hey I’m fine but I’m not
I’m broken
And when it’s out of control I say it’s under control but it’s not
And You know it
I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it

When being honest is the only way to fix it
There’s no failure, no fall – There’s no sin You don’t already know
So let the truth be told

 

There’s a sign on the door, says, “Come as you are” but I doubt it
‘Cause if we lived like it was true, every Sunday morning pew would be crowded
But didn’t You say the church should look more like a hospital
A safe place for the sick, the sinner and the scarred and the prodigals – Like me

 

Well truth be told – The truth is rarely told
Oh am I the only one who says

 

I’m fine, yeah I’m fine oh I’m fine, hey I’m fine but I’m not
I’m broken
And when it’s out of control I say it’s under control but it’s not
And You know it
I don’t know why it’s so hard to admit it
When being honest is the only way to fix it
There’s no failure, no fall – There’s no sin You don’t already know
So let the truth be told

 

Can I really stand here unashamed
Knowin’ that You love for me won’t change?
Oh God if that’s really true
Then let the truth be told

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