My husband says that I do too much.
I called him one day to talk to him about leading a church baseball team. It was only a one day commitment, and I really wanted to play baseball at the church picnic. His response: “You do too much.”
Last summer’s burn out caused him and I to make a deal. If I take on too much, he tells me no. Our former pastor once said he and his wife had that same deal. Sometimes, our former pastor had to tell his wife no in a ministry. Last Summer, I wanted so badly to help out our pastors and fill in areas that didn’t have any volunteers that I said yes. I took on things God didn’t mean for me to take on and that interfered with the careful balance in my life.
Not only was I setting up for one of our church services, tearing it down, running greeters, and leading prayer team for that service, I hosted a Fellowship Group. I also ran a ministry outside the church. Then, there’s my second full-time job, writing, that on top of everything caused me to experience massive burn-out. The burn-out caused me to stop worshipping in church until one day frustrations typical of ministry caused my husband and I to abstain from church and walk over to a coffee shop instead where we could read the Bible and relax.
Overcoming yes is a common problem.
People leave churches sometimes because they can’t say no. Without learning how to say no, typical, trivial ministry problems become massive, unresolvable issues. Not only did my burn-out affect me, but it affected my husband who helped me do all these things. The burn out obstructed me from worshipping God on Sunday. And yet, when you work at a church, Sunday often feels like another day.
In letting go of unnecessary ministries without dropping the burden on the pastors, I realized that Sunday can never be a time that I can worship. So I learned how to worship differently. I worship God every day by committing myself to prayer, reading the Bible, and most of the time, I use my drive time to work as time to commune with God. The worship music plays on the radio and I let the faces of those on my prayer list float before my mind’s eye. I worship Him when I write blogs, stories, and I worship Him when I hike or run or workout. On Sunday, I come with my mind-set on serving. I also take two Sunday’s off a month because it’s the only day off my husband and I have together.
It’s been a huge change for me.
I like serving and I enjoy what I do. Everything that happens in my life has transformed me. I found if I let God use the difficulties (even when they are self-created) in my life to make me a better person, He usually shows up. This is the church where I am called to serve, and I am learning to say no where appropriate. I am learning how to create healthy boundaries in my life.
Describe a time when you burned out. How did you resolve it? Are you a “yes” person?