Do you ever feel like you’ve nothing left to give? Pastor Rowland Croucher wrote about his experiences: ‘The children had gone to school, my wife was off to work, and I did something I’d never done before. I turned the phone down, put a note on the door, and went back to bed. I was burned out. Within two months I had resigned my ministry…Three out of four pastors report anger, depression, fear, and alienation. The reasons include…a disparity between idealistic expectations and hard reality…lack of boundaries…workaholism…feelings of incompetence…conflict between being a leader and being a servant at the same time…“playing it safe” to avoid upsetting powerful parishioners…and loneliness (pastors are less likely to have a close friend than almost anybody).’ When we try to minister to people and only draw on our own strength, we’ll hit burnout sooner or later. (And ‘ministering to people’ doesn’t mean we have to be church leaders or missionaries – any time we try to help others, and share the gospel, we’re ministering to people.) Paul was able to stay strong in his ministry because he depended on God to give him the strength he needed. One Bible teacher says avoiding burnout means a) having a definite call on your life and a strong relationship with Jesus, b) seeking His vision and being willing to do whatever He asks, c) never losing sight of the people behind the work, d) never taking your position for granted, e) respecting the person above you, and submitting willingly to reasonable authority, f) knowing that you’re fulfilling God’s will, g) having a servant’s heart, h) putting loyalty above personal feelings, and i) never being too big to do small things, or too small to do big things. Try applying these ideas, and remember to always draw on God’s strength and wisdom.