Sunday, August 25, 2013

Burnout - What is It & What Can We Do About It?

One word can bring feelings of frustration, fear and despair to people in children's ministry - especially those who recruit. This word is, "burnout". People leave children's ministry because of it and others do not join in because of it as well. So, what is "burnout", really? And what - if anything - can we do to prevent it?

I'm going to look at these questions in the coming week, so first of all I want to say, for myself, burnout is not an issue. In all the years I've served in children's ministry (42 years) I have never experienced burnout. I was thinking about this in the past week and came to the conclusion the reason for this is because serving brings me so much joy and energy! It is a delight, joy and honor to serve so my focus is on these things and I have not experienced burnout. This is why I love recruiting - I know others who serve will have the opportunity to experience joy as well, so how do we help them experience joy . . . instead of burnout?

To answer this question, we need to know what burnout is. I think burnout is a word with many meanings. For some they feel, "burnout" because they are not supported and they are tired. For others they feel, "burnout" because their lives got busy and they need to eliminate things. Still others feel, "burnout" because they are overwhelmed and just do not think they can teach, lead a small group, etc.

When a volunteer says they are quitting because they are, "burned out", it is an opportunity for us to identify a need and find a solution! I'll talk more about this tomorrow.

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