Minding the Minister – Clergy Burnout

(from the March 2013 Presbyterian Record)

Easter comes in April more than 80 per cent of the time this century. This year it comes at the end of March. For me it means Lent comes quickly after Advent and the Christmas season. It seems that one is barely over and planning for the next begins. It didn’t take me too long in ministry to realize the importance of planning my vacation and study leave carefully to ensure that my breaks were well timed.

Here is my concern. I have heard too many ministers say they have neglected to take off the time to which they are entitled. They always give reasons. Some are good; but most are insufficient. It’s not the only reason for burnout but I am willing to venture that it is a major contributing factor.

Minister burnout is a major concern. Congregations that dream and pray for turnaround and renewal will be thwarted and disappointed if this happens to their ministers. Then finger pointing and blame laying aren’t far behind. The frustration of all this can lead to the kind of conflict that can damage ministries and relationships for the long term. … Read More