The Risk of Pastoral Burnout


Burnout Main Reason for Pete Wilson’s Resignation
From Cross Point Church in Nashville

On Sunday morning, Wilson announced his decision to the congregation. In a video of the announcement posted to Cross Point’s website, Wilson shares, “We’ve said that this is a church where it’s okay to not be okay, and I’m not okay. I’m tired. And I’m broken and I just need some rest.”

The main reasons he shared for leaving were being tired, “leading on empty” and neglecting some things that should have been prioritized. Wilson was diligent to assure the congregation that he is for the church and wishes them to continue in the vision of “loving the unloved.”

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reposted from Church

One of the lessons about avoiding–or recovering from–burnout is to appreciate and appropriate the Rest of the Gospel.

Finding Soul Rest, By John Woodward

Friends who went camping described their enjoyable get-away. When I asked if they slept in a tent or trailer, they told me that they used hammocks. They tied the fabric between trees, suspended above the ground–a comfortable way to relax and get a good night’s sleep.

What a picture of rest. We need times of rest for our bodies, but we also long for a rest for our souls. Like the Galatian Christians, many have “begun in the Spirit” (have been saved by grace), but are trying to be “made perfect by the flesh” (Gal. 3:1-3). The result is that we serve God with self-effort and end up exhausted.

Martha lapsed into this common syndrome, however well-intentioned. You recall that Jesus and his disciples were staying with His friends, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus:

“Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:40-42).

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