What causes ministry burnout?


In the introduction to Finishing Well in Life and MinistryBill Mills and Craig Parro give the answer to what causes ministry burnout.

The premise of this book is that the terrible disease of burnout is not primarily the result of our unfortunate circumstances. It is not a function of our lack of resources or planning, nor the result of our own failings and weaknesses. Burnout is largely a spiritual problem rooted in our theology, for the battles rage primarily in our hearts and minds. By theology, we are referring to more than our creedal orthodoxy. It is our practical theology in daily living which reveals what we really believe.

In his very challenging book God in the Wasteland, David Wells talks of the “weightlessness of God.”

It is one of the defining marks of Our Time that God is now weightless. I do not mean by this that he is ethereal but rather that he has become unimportant. He rests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable. He has lost his saliency for human life. Those who assure the pollsters of their belief in God’s existence may nonetheless consider him less interesting than television, his commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence, his judgment no more awe-inspiring than the evening news, and his truth less compelling than the advertisers’ sweet fog of flattery and lies. That is weightlessness.

We can readily affirm that this is taking place in our society. But the view of a “weightless God” has also deeply affected us in the ministry. We so desire to be relevant to meet the needs of our culture. But in the process, even among the clergy, our view of God has been lessened, so that we now worship what Wells calls a “diminished God.”

A diminished God will not be able to keep the hearts of those whom He has called to serve Him. It is our prayer that as we seek an exalted God, lifted high in His sovereignty, His holiness, His glory, power and grace, that we might be transformed in His presence and our hearts sustained in Him.

Finishing_Well_I_4cdd87b7eb0b6You can have Bill or Craig speak on this topic and a variety of other topics at your church. Learn more about our church conference ministry or invite Bill or Craig to speak at your church or organization.

Learn about Leadership Resources’ program called Training National Trainers that equips national pastors in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America to preach the Word of God with the heart of God.

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Related Post: Christian Ministry Burnout: Prevention, Signs, Statistics, and Recovery

Author: Kevin Halloran


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Leadership Resources exists to equip and encourage pastors around the world to teach God’s word with God’s heart. Learn more about our work, our approach, and see how your church can make a worldwide difference with God's Word.