Are you coming off the Easter glow? The Sunday was a success: people came, heard the Gospel and now you have a lot of momentum going at your church. People are EXCITED to be there. Now the onus is on you to take that momentum and do something.
With the excitement of growth comes the added pressure on pastors and leadership to not let the momentum burn out.
And you are only human. You have limits. It’s okay. Really. So how do you lead a church that’s growing and thriving, without you burning out?
Be real with your leadership
A good leadership team will want to support you and will want to know when you’re worn down. They probably have a sense of it anyways, so respect them and trust them through authenticity. You will be surprised how willing and capable they are of helping you rebound and rebuild.
Know when you’re getting fried so you don’t get crispy
You probably know your own signs of burnout (maybe you get snappy with your kids/spouse, you check out, or procrastinate). Be aware of the first signs of burnout for you personally, and take steps back when you sense them (see: be real with leadership, for one!). You can also take preventative measures by taking a break now and then, so…
Take a Break
A real break. Get away from everything. It’s hard – we respect that – but it will make all the difference! You can even take different degrees of breaks: on a small scale, take a half hour during the day to regroup (a lunch where you’re disconnected, a workout before work). The next step up is to let your days off really be your days off. You can even go big and plan (& book!) a vacation.
Yes, your church is a community, but you, as a pastor, need your personal tribe — the spiritually close friends you can be completely honest and real with, and go to for support and camaraderie. Maybe this tribe is a hodge-podge of friends from seminary, other church leaders from your city, or even a childhood pal or two. It doesn’t matter where you met or even how long you’ve known each other. What matters is having that posse on speed-dial for the good and the bad moments you go through.
Keeping momentum going forward while preventing burn-out may require giving yourself and your leadership team some permission. Permission to commit to strategic and intentional sermon and service planning. Permission to be authentic with where we’re at on the burnout cycle. Permission to try and to mess up and to try all over again. The work you are doing matters each and every day, not just on Sundays, and certainly not just on Easter. And frankly, we think you’re doing a great job.
PS: Miss part 1 of the series? Read it here.