A ministry's role is not easy, and over time you and your staff may become weary and discouraged. According to Samuel Santana, an administrative bishop at the Church of God, 50 percent of pastors are discouraged enough to want to leave the ministry. While this is a troubling number, it's important to remember that everyone feels this way at some point. Discouragement has affected Christians throughout time, but that doesn't mean giving up is the answer. Remember, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). Sometimes you just have to push forward and keep working, but other times it can be smart to seek out new techniques to help make the important work your ministry does a bit easier.
Here are five ways to help ease the workload and prevent or eliminate burnout:
"The weight of responsibility can be detrimental to morale."
Delegate tasks to others
Ministry leadership is often in charge of too many different tasks and programs. The weight of that responsibility can be detrimental to their morale. If you're a leader at your ministry, make sure to delegate tasks when possible. That will not only help ensure you don't feel overwhelmed, but it will keep your ministry functioning at the highest level of efficiency.
According to the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, it can be beneficial for ministry staff to create a team responsible for caring for ministry leaders. Some leaders don't want to burden others with their problems, but when a team is organized for the specific purpose of helping, those same leaders are likelier to delegate tasks to others.
Seek help when needed
This is different from delegating tasks. Sometimes staff members don't have too much work to do, they just need help executing the work. Failure can lead to discouragement and depression, so it's important to make sure that people in your ministry aren't unsuccessful. However, if they do, they realize that it's okay to do so. Try to encourage an environment where people are consistently reaching out to one another to get things done. Not only will this help ensure success, it will probably increase the rate at which it is achieved. This also builds strong bonds among ministry members, that can lead to increased involvement and passionate workmanship.
Make sure people's lives are balanced
While ministry work is of extreme importance, staff members need to have a personal life as well. Just like in the business world, a balance between work and the rest of a person's life is needed. Too much of either one can lead to unhappiness.
Utilize new management tools
Efficiency is key for many ministries because there is always so much to do. Ministries have to create and manage programs, fundraising events, volunteers and much more. A good software solution will help make the management side of things much easier. There's donation management software, event management software, ministry media software and much more. These solutions can help ward off burnout and discouragement by making things more efficient and providing ministry members with more time for other things, such as family and friends.
Try to see the humor in things
Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Being able to laugh things off is a skill that will help you stay positive. It can also keep you from taking things too seriously. If you have a grave demeanor all of the time, you'll likely become cynical, which is never a good thing. Church Leaders calls laugher the antidote to sarcasm and cynicism. So make sure you and the rest of your ministry has a good laugh or two every day.