The Antidote for Burnout
This time of year can be challenging for a men’s leadership team and for the individuals on it. Life tends to pick up speed. Between family get-togethers, traveling, church activities, and other competing priorities, there’s a lot of “extra” around the holidays.
Most ministry activity grinds to a halt for several weeks, and leadership teams take a break. Although a break can be good if the time is used for refreshment, it’s often the case that in our busyness, we can get overwhelmed, losing sight of what we’ve accomplished throughout the year and where we believe God is leading us in the next.
It’s the same for churches as a whole, businesses, ministries like ours, and even families—which is why this story* from Patrick Morley still serves as a powerful reminder to us all:
When our children were teens, we drove to my parent’s home for Thanksgiving—a one-hour drive. My wife suggested we each say one thing we are thankful for and keep rotating until we ran out of ideas.
Would you believe it? An hour later we pulled into my parent’s driveway, still going strong. It was an overwhelming spiritual experience for us all. It’s amazing how many things we could think of that we might ordinarily have taken for granted. It was so encouraging to listen to the hearts of my wife and children.
It’s not often that a family gets to experience transcendence together. But we did! And it became an important family story.
An exercise like this one may be the most traditional thing to do on Thanksgiving, but we can often forget that it’s also the most important thing to do—giving thanks to God for all He’s done. So this season, whether you have a leadership meeting to recap the year, go out for breakfast together, or simply start a group chat, give this activity a try!
Think through the last year and all that God has done in your church—hearts transformed, marriages restored, families changed, communities renewed. Name them as a team, and be specific!
When the next six weeks are flying by, and you feel pulled in a dozen directions, intentional gratitude will help you avoid burnout—and keep you heading passionately toward the vision to see every man in your church transformed by Christ through discipleship.
*Story formerly published in 2014 in An Idea to Enrich Your Thanksgiving, by Patrick Morley.