How I Overcame Burnout — Part 1 Take Responsibility

So my blog post about my burnout generated a lot of hits and has led to a few conversations the last few days. I thought I’d write a series about what I’m doing to take care of myself when it comes to working in the tech arts of a large church.

Today we’re going to talk about the biggest idea I took away from Mad Church Disease: You Are Responsible For Your Spiritual Life!

We all have reasons for neglecting our walk with God:
– It’s just a busy season (we’re opening a new venue, remodeling, it’s Christmas/ Easter/ a kickoff or push season, it’s a heavy production load for this series, etc…)
– If I don’t do it won’t happen.

You must realize that it was because of a love for Jesus that you got into media ministry. But we get so busy creating, producing and serving that we often forget who and why we’re doing this. We can justify that extra 15-60 minutes we should spend polishing that video/ graphic, mix, etc instead of spending some time in prayer and the Word. We can all spit out the right answers when we talk to church people. We can talk the talk. We can put on the right mask and make everyone think that we’re OK.

You MUST have a love for Jesus that is of first importance in our lives. If we’re not growing in our walk with God our lives will become out of balance at work and home. When this happens we will look for escapes. Most of my sin is my own attempt to fulfill a godly need in an ungodly way. Instead of turning to God I turn to diversions and sinful desires to fill that hole. To scratch that itch. I can tell you it doesn’t work.

And you MUST want to change. You can lie to accountability partners and put up a front but on the inside be dying. I know I’ve done it. You can cover your tracks and hide your sin… for a time. But eventually it will come out. Fear can grip us to keep our faults hidden. But there is freedom by bringing it into the light. As much as my wife catching me looking at porn hurt. It hurt to see the pain it caused to her when I thought I was just hurting myself. There was an immense freedom that this sin was finally in the light. The power of sin is multiplied when it’s kept in darkness. We believe the lies.

John 15:1-17 ““I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Jesus teaches that we are:
– To bear fruit.
– You can be in church, on staff, a part of the vine, busy doing things for Jesus and not bearing fruit
– We can not bear fruit on our own.
– The fruit is the evidence of a life lived in relationship with Jesus.

Lets make this very practical:
– Where are you in your walk with God?
– If you’re not growing why not? The times I’ve been apathetic in my walk. Those times where I lost my passion for God. They were times I had hidden sin in my life. You need to get honest with yourself and someone else. You need to bring your junk to the light. The internet and social media can be great but you need to talk face to face with someone. We need accountability to be honest and experience God’s grace.
– What are you going to do to help you grow closer to God and further from sin? That’s what I consider spiritual disciplines. Things I’m doing in my live to help me grow closer to God and further from sin. We’re all wired differently so find what works for you. A favorite book of mine is The Live You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg. Do what draws you closer to God and stop doing what draws you away.

We’ll continue this series in my next post about “You can’t always be “ON””.

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October 19, 2009. Tags: , , . Personal Growth.

4 Comments

  1. How I Overcame Burnout — Part 4 Accountability and Community « Creative Church Media replied:

    […] and Community Here’s the quick recap: -I’ve been burned out in ministry before. – You must take responsibility for your spiritual health. This means you must be taking steps everyday to grow closer to Jesus and further from sin. – You […]

  2. Kendall Conner replied:

    This article has really helped me spiritually. I have been working in the church for years and am going through this exact thing. Just a couple of sentences into this tears started to fall cause I knew God had purposely put this in my path. I appreciate your honesty and have truly been blessed.

    My life was changed by this.

    Kendall

  3. Dave replied:

    Kendall,
    One of the biggest lies we believe is “I’m the only one…” The only one who struggles with this… The only one who feels like this… And those feelings cause us to hide our struggles.

    One of the gauges I’ve been using to measure my spiritual heath is: How am I changing? I’ve seen this time and time again in the Bible. We’re to pursue godliness, bear fruit, be doers and not just hearers. This is supposed to be the result of an internal change. That you want to pursue God and not sin. If it’s not an internal desire and you’re just trying to live a good life that’s a warning sign.

    Then I ask myself what do I need to do to change and pursue God. Then that’s what I do. That’s the spiritual discipline I engage in. In the past I looked at my spiritual disciplines, now I look to my repentance.

    I pray this is turning point for you.

  4. After Effects – Magazine Page Flip - ChurchMediaDesign.tv replied:

    […] Psyop – How To Animate How to Overcome Burnout Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Fudgegraphics acrylic […]

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