Are you feeling tired in your ministry? It’s important to remember that we do not make God’s work bear fruit. The seed sprouts and grows by the mysterious force that is God at work in our life and the lives of others. It’s been said, “You can’t make a plant grow by pulling on it.” People have tremendous potential for emotional and spiritual growth—but we can’t make it happen. We may be surprised by which seeds sprout and which don’t. Our task is to do our part, and to pay attention so we notice when the fruit shows up. This is both humbling and hopeful—it’s not up to us, which is ultimately good news.
It can be a hard lesson to learn. Many church leaders are overfunctioners. Overfunctioning involves taking responsibility for others, especially for their problems and shortcomings. In the short term, helping others can be a good thing. But if it becomes chronic, it can contribute to sustaining the limitations of others, and burning us out.
Here are four questions that can help you assess your own life:
We are called to work, and often work hard. But when we make sure the work we are doing is truly the work we are called to do, and when we allow God to carry the pieces that are not ours to do, we’ll last longer. And the harvest will come, by God’s grace.
Get the free mini-course, "Five Ways to Avoid Burnout in Ministry" at http://margaretmarcuson.com/.