Dear Christian Radio,
I am not a runner…never have been, never will be. However, there is something I have heard my friends and family talk about when it comes to running long distances; it’s called the wall. It’s the point in a run where you can’t go any further. All the exhaustion builds up and you want to give up. The wall convinces you that you’re over it all and it suddenly seems easier to just stop than it does to keep going. No matter how good the runner is, eventually, everyone hits the wall.
Ministry is no different. It’s a marathon and there is a wall. There are moments where we want to give up and let someone else carry the load. The responsibility feels like too much, the road ahead looks to hard, and the exhaustion from past efforts is starting to overtake us. So what are we to do?
Here are four techniques I use that help me conquer the wall:
- Assess for Burnout – Burnout is serious and can affect you emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Some of the signs of burnout include: feeling exhausted all the time, feeling indifferent to your work, feeling as though work and/or home life are a waste of energy, and/or feeling the majority of your day is spent on tasks you find dull or overwhelming*. So ask yourself, “Did I hit a temporary wall, or am I burned out? If you think you are experiencing burnout, you can find ways to overcome it here.
- Pause and Talk to God – Time with God seems like a given, but so often it’s the one thing we fail to do. To start, find a tranquil place where you can go to think and chat with God. My place is a lake; it’s quiet and it relaxes my soul. When things get tough, it’s the place where I listen for God’s still, small voice. Commit to spending an hour with just God–no phone, no computer, no work…just you and Him. You may be thinking “What will my team think?” Relax…a wise leader has reminded me more than once that, as leaders, we have to take care of ourselves. If we don’t, the whole team suffers.
- Remember your Calling – If God has called you to where you serve, remember that calling. Think back to the day and time that God asked you to serve Him. Don’t be afraid to ask God if He still wants you where you are.
- Keep Going – I am known for my honesty, so let’s be real for a moment; there will be days we just have to put our big kid pants on. Sometimes, to succeed, we have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going despite our feelings (even if they’re justified).
There will always be those days, weeks, and even months where times are tough. In those moments we must remember that God never promised us it would be easy or stress free. However, with the right strategies and a winning mindset, we can catch our second wind and continue forward.
Dear Christian Radio…
When you hit the wall:
- Assess for Burnout
- Pause and Chat with God
- Remember your Calling
- Keep Going!
Director of Digital Media, PAR
Station Manager, Spirit FM
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*Preventing Burn Out by Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A. Last updated: May 2016.