Seven ways to prevent burnout while serving
We just wrapped up an incredible week of serving. Ignite HOPE Week 2011 was life-changing for us, and for those we served. I’ve even heard people say, “We should do this every week!” Right. That might last for 2 or 3 weeks, and then we’d burn out. So how do we prevent that?
Ignite HOPE Week is intended to get us moving toward igniting HOPE in our daily lives. That’s good. But if you’ve served for long, you may have begun to experience burnout. When that occurs, nobody wins. So here are seven guidelines to ensure that you can continue to serve with joy, passion, and effectiveness for the long haul:
- Don’t try to be God. You can’t fix every problem. You can’t meet every need. You can’t “boil the ocean” as some would say. So recognize that God is still God, and he has other ways to meet the needs you can’t. He’s that smart.
- Don’t serve alone. Community has many benefits, and this is just one of them. Serving with someone else will lighten the load and help sustain you for the long haul. Find someone else to serve with you.
- Don’t live someone else’s passion. People get passionate about serving in areas that matter to them. Then they recruit you. If you share their passion, great. If not, find out where yours is and server there. (Seneca 301 will help you with this.)
- Don’t forget to refuel. Maybe for you it’s worship music. Maybe it’s a long walk in the park. Maybe it’s a couple hours of solitude. Maybe it’s reading your favorite Psalm. Whatever it is, put fuel in your tank. Regularly.
- Don’t get stuck in a rut. Try a new area of serving. Or try a new strategy. Or a different schedule. Variety is good. That’s why God made us all so different.
- Don’t neglect your body. You’re not the Energizer bunny. You can’t go 24/7. Take care of the only body you’re going to get. Rest. Exercise. Eat smart. Your ability to serve depends on it.
- Don’t lose perspective. Remember that God serves us. We serve because of that. It’s reciprocal. That’s good to know when serving seems unattractive, or people start to get on your nerves.
Are any of these seven guidelines out of whack in your serving?