I’ve spent a lot of time leading. I’ve also spent a lot of time watching great leaders lead.
Through this watching, there’s been a lot of leaders that have burned out and fizzled away.
They couldn’t see it coming, and neither could I when it happened to me.
Yet when I look back on my situation, I can see clear signs that burnout was coming.
1. Burnout happens when you believe you have to always be there: Consistency is a great quality to have in leadership. It’s also a dangerous one.
Pam and I felt like we HAD to be at the youth group every Wednesday. We even went as far as being present on Tuesdays when we went to double services.
Being at the church 3 days a week began to put a real strain on the way we felt about leading and the church.
Believing I always had to be at the church helped contribute to my leadership burnout.
2. Burnout happens when you aren’t in the right place spiritually: I love God and I love the church but I’ve found myself slipping away from that love at times.
This typically happened when I failed to read the Bible and feed myself spiritually.
As you let your foundation slip, it’s easy to get tired of serving and giving of yourself. Make sure you’re keeping yourself in the Word.
3. Burnout happens when we forget our mission: As leaders, we’re there to help others. We desire to see them become the men and women of God that they’re created to be.
Until we begin to focus on the wrong things.
Our mission isn’t growing numbers or even seeing results. Our mission should be to give those we lead the information they need to grow and to give them permission to do what needs to be done.
When we get off mission, we begin to face church leadership burnout.
4. Burnout happens when there is no direction: Similar to getting off track and forgetting about the mission, burnout also happens when there is no clear direction.
Direction helps us to know where we need to go and allows us to create a path to get there.
Don’t neglect the direction of your leadership. It will help keep you energized and leading well.
5. Burnout happens when we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others: Have you ever had unrealistic expectations placed on you? If you’ve worked anywhere, I’m sure you have.
We place unrealistic expectations on others. We place unrealistic expectations on ourselves.
By having expectations that are impossible to reach, we begin to weigh others and ourselves down. We begin to feel like we can’t succeed.
This leads to major leadership burnout.
6. Burnout happens when we have no one else to help: Sometimes we feel like we have to do everything ourselves because we have no one else around to help. We haven’t built a quality team that can take over when we need a break.
Don’t make this mistake. Rather, build up a team who has your back and you have theirs.
This will take much of the stress of leadership off of your shoulders and help prevent burnout.
7. Burnout happens when it becomes about you: This one stings a bit.
Because we’re in a position of leadership, others are looking up to us. Through this, we begin to feel leadership is about us.
It’s not. It never has been. And it never should be.