Burnout

Serving Students Stay - Part 2: Let the Simple Be Profound

From VOICE, May/Jun 2015. Used with permission. Read Part 1.

I have a concern about one concept that is affecting all of the various ministries in the church, but I want to specifically focus on youth ministry and how this concept is affecting and changing it. My area of concern is what I am going to call intellectualism.

I define intellectualism as the process in which growth can only be realized and achieved by utilizing fresh, newly discovered information in contrast to the simple and profound. It is the concept that you must always teach something new rather than something simple (that is, the Bible). Though the exploration of new truth, and exposing ourselves to ideas that we previously did not know, is a good practice and a needed part of spiritual growth, intellectualism creates an adverse climate in youth ministries and churches across our nation. Intellectualism looks down upon the simple, yet profound, teaching of the Word of God in favor of teaching new ideas with fresh methods.

1862 reads

Roads That Lead to Christian Burnout, Part 4

Wrong Road #4—The Road to Nowhere

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

by Debi Pryde

The fourth path to burnout is one that is more difficult to identify. Most people believe they are on the right road until they’ve traveled quite a distance. Everything looks great until they round the bend and finds themselves in the middle of nowhere. That’s when the road gets bumpy, the weather turns nasty, the terrain abruptly turns from beautiful to ugly, pryde_roadtonowhere.jpgand they can hardly see where they’re going because of all the fog. It’s easy to stop and hope the weather improves—but it doesn’t. And stopping only leaves them in that mess longer. More difficult, there are all kinds of detours and splits in the road, and it’s sometimes quite challenging deciding which way to go.

274 reads

Roads That Lead to Christian Burnout, Part 3

Wrong Road #3—Malnourishment

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

by Debi Pryde

The third road to burnout is one without restaurants, without warmly furnished kitchens and dining rooms, and without refreshing drinking fountains available to its travelers. The traveler finds only fast-food restaurants, leftovers, and prepackaged food available on this route. Such food can keep one alive but never impart health or cause a weary traveler pryde_trees.jpgto thrive with energy. A steady diet of it quickly eroded one’s health and lead to all kinds of weakness and limitation. Christian workers commit a grave error if they believe they can stay spiritually alive and enthusiastic by feasting on books, sermons, seminars, and radio broadcasts while neglecting personal Bible study. Reading Our Daily Bread has never been a substitute for coming to the Bread of Life for daily spiritual nourishment.

215 reads

Roads That Lead to Christian Burnout, Part 2

Wrong Road #2—Relationship Deficiency

Read Part 1.

by Debi Pryde

A second road takes workers to a place called “burnout.” This path looks inviting because it isn’t crowded. There are no family cars on this road—nothing but single-passenger vehicles. Everyone’s in a hurry to get where he is going, so there’s no lingering, no time for making friends, no time to ask anyone for directions, and no time to listen to others talk. People pryde_roads.jpgwho travel this route don’t take time to get close to anyone, including their own family members. Consequently, relationships tend to be superficial; there’s no time to cultivate genuine, mutual intimacy. Acquaintances and admirers may be many but companions few. Sadly, this solo style of traveling tends to have its greatest impact on family relationships—even worse on one’s relationship with the Lord.

327 reads

Roads That Lead to Christian Burnout, Part 1

by Debi Pryde

When a Christian worker describes himself as “burned out,” he is usually expressing a sense of having exhausted all of his available physical, mental, or spiritual resources. Those in such a state of mind find it a fitting analogy to compare themselves to a candle that has burned to the place of consuming itself, its flame flickering in its final moments before pryde_road01.jpgextinguishing with a faint puff of smoke. We often use such colorfully descriptive words when continual hardship, fatigue, or weariness of mind have begun to severely erode our sense of purpose, enthusiasm, or resilience to opposition. Just as often, however, we use the same expression to describe a wearisome monotony that can be associated with continual boredom, a lack of challenging goals, unfulfilled expectations, or continual dependence on self rather than on Christ.

306 reads