One day in high school I was approached by a classmate who was highly intoxicated by weed and what his words for some strange reason have always stuck with me.
"Hey Dude, I'm All Burned Out" meaning he was baked, done, smoked too much.
What makes this funny is that recently I was approached in a similar fashion only it was from someone who had been high on Church and they said the same thing.
Only in place of Dude it was Pastor.
and as it got me to thinking about burn out I made some observations from my own struggles with Burn Out and I came to some interesting conclusions.
#1 Burn Out Comes From Doing Something You Shouldn't Do.
The purchase and use of marijuana is against the law. This never would have happened if this young man was doing what was right.
In my time as a Christian every time I felt burned out it was because I was doing something I shouldn't be doing. It wasn't right for me and burning out was Gods way of showing me that.
#2 Burn Out Comes From Doing Something You Shouldn't Do Too Much.
Not only was he doing the wrong thing, He did way way way too much of the wrong thing leading him to burning out.
Again, every time I have felt burned out it was because not only was I doing something I shouldn't be doing, I was trying to hard to do it leaving me frustrated and feeling lost.
Why is this important to us? Because in the church world it is so easy to do the wrong things too much. There is a need and you want to fill it.
God hasn't called you to it, God hadn't created you for it, but you do it and for a while you might even think that your doing good, but wait for it, you will get weary of it.
So how do we Keep from Being Burnt Out?
#1 Make sure Whatever you do, God, not You, has called you to it.
I know this. I have never gotten burned out from Preaching the gospel but I have from other areas of ministry I have tried to do.
In fact the one thing that keeps me passionate about ministry is Preaching the Gospel. But ask me to teach, I can do it, but it will burn me out.
Ask me to lead singing, I can do it, but it will burn me out
Ask me to do anything in the church, I can do it, but it will eventually burn me out.
But let me share a couple of things about God's calling.
I didn't ask for this calling, it came to me. I didn't go to school to preach, I didn't beg my pastor to preach, in fact I never preached publicly until one week before I was voted in to Pastor this church.
If God has called you to it, it will bear spiritual fruit. While I do not consider myself to be an excellent Preacher, I believe that God uses me in the lives of others as people trust Christ as their savior as well as grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior.
(see 1 Corinthians 2:1-4) If there is no real fruit gained for others through your labors its because its your calling and not His.
#2 If your feeling Burned Out ask yourself these two questions.
Is God changing what He wants or needs me to do for His Kingdom?
The Apostle Paul went through this when he was called to the gentiles and not the Jews as well as when he wanted to go east and the Holy Spirit led Paul to the west.
Is what I am doing a God thing or a Me thing.
If its a God thing it will be done in His power and hence no power outages, but if its done in my power i will go through times and encouragement and discouragement as well as frustration and aggravation. If I am feeling these things I always know its time to reevaluate what I am doing for the Kingdom.