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← Advice on Avoiding Pastoral Burnout - Kevin Williams

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Showing Revision 1 created 04/12/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Have you ever struggled with
    being burned out as a pastor?

  2. If so, why? And what helped you
  3. to get out of that season?
  4. Kevin: Yeah, I've certainly
    been burned out
  5. as a pastor in the past.
  6. And the cause of it
  7. and the remedy if you like
  8. was not trying to be someone else;
  9. realizing my limitations.
  10. It's very easy because early on,
  11. I'd read about other Christians,
  12. and especially listen to sermons
  13. saying you must do this as a pastor.
  14. So I'd be up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.
  15. reading and praying.
  16. And I'd be a total zombie.
  17. I just can't do that.
  18. Now, other people can.
  19. If someone can, that's great.
  20. I'm not saying to someone else
  21. don't to that if it works for them.
  22. But for me, my mind
    doesn't work at that time.
  23. I find it better to be later in the day;
  24. well, not later in the day,
  25. but when I'm up and around, if you like,
  26. and ready.
  27. I mean I read Scripture a
    lot and think about it.
  28. But yeah, it would just wipe me out.
  29. And I'd read also,
  30. you have people like Spurgeon.
  31. I once heard he could preach 12 sermons
  32. a week or something like that.
  33. Again, it's realizing, I can't do that.
  34. At the moment, I'm doing
    two fresh sermons a week.
  35. A Wednesday service we have
  36. and a Sunday.
  37. I can preach more when
    I'm repeating things
  38. I've taught in the past.
  39. That's easy enough.
  40. But as far as coming up with fresh sermons
  41. and properly studying,
  42. it used to be three.
  43. But there's always a compromise there.
  44. I used to go and do street evangelism
  45. on a Saturday before finishing
  46. preparing Saturday evening
  47. for the next morning.
  48. I would be mentally wiped out
  49. after the street evangelism.
  50. So there's a compromise there.
  51. It's not wearing Saul's armor;
  52. realizing what you can and can't do.
  53. People demanding your time all the time.
  54. Of course, you want to
    be helping and so forth.
  55. But it's prioritizing things.
  56. Learning to say no sometimes.
  57. Because otherwise you can
    just get wiped out there.
  58. And you've got to learn as well
  59. the things you can't change or deal with,
  60. to just trust the Lord with them.
  61. Pray for those problems
    and things like that;
  62. things from the outside.
  63. When I go to sleep at night,
  64. the world still revolves perfectly well.
  65. So, God can handle that on His own.
  66. So, yeah, and you know even things
  67. that have helped me:
  68. making sure I'm eating right.
  69. Not being obsessed with health,
  70. but someone can just eat really bad
  71. and it can affect how tired they are.
  72. Getting some exercise really helped me.
  73. It might only be 20 minutes one day
  74. or 30 minutes or sometimes I might
  75. get a good bike ride of a couple hours,
  76. but that's kind of rare (the latter).
  77. Making sure I get enough sleep.
  78. Again, I would starve myself
    of sleep at one point.
  79. There are people who can do that,
  80. but I can't.
  81. I need an 8 hours.
  82. Saturday morning to Sunday it might be
  83. 4 hours or 6 hours,
  84. but I have to have a catch-up.
  85. Because I used to think it was more holy
  86. the less sleep you had,
  87. and things like that.
  88. Which was a big mistake,
  89. but I remember listening to John Piper,
  90. who once said a woman was saying,
  91. I've cut down my sleep
  92. and I'm always tired.
  93. I'm just always exhausted.
  94. What's God trying to tell me though this?
  95. And John Piper said, "Go to bed."
  96. You know, it can be obvious sometimes.
  97. Again, we've got to realize
  98. we're not someone else.
  99. But of course, the other things
  100. that are essential is to always be
  101. in the Word and prayer,
  102. which is very difficult not to be
  103. if you're a pastor anyway.
  104. But the other thing I would have -
  105. a mistake if you like -
  106. one time, I would be preparing the sermons
  107. going through various books,
  108. and also I'd be doing
    personal reading as well
  109. which again, everyone's different.
  110. But I was told never just read
  111. what's in your sermons,
  112. as in your preparation for your reading,
  113. because - I can't remember
    how it was phrased,
  114. but after awhile I began to see
  115. it's not right because -
  116. the point is, you need to be feeding;
  117. you need to be fed yourself.
  118. But then I realized that's not right,
  119. because the idea was, for instance,
  120. at the moment we're going through
  121. Matthew's Gospel
  122. and we're going through Exodus.
  123. Okay, so, the idea of that statement
  124. is don't just use my preparation
  125. in Exodus and Matthew,
  126. because I need feeding myself.
  127. But the problem with that statement is
  128. I should be feeding myself
  129. through Matthew and Exodus.
  130. Otherwise, I shouldn't be teaching it
  131. to anyone else.
  132. Often, this is what it is.
  133. As I'm preparing, and of course,
  134. I'm doing this all week,
  135. I'm thinking about the Scriptures
  136. and I'm thinking this is so helpful.
  137. I can't wait to share
  138. with the brethren.
  139. I can't wait because I know
  140. it's going to help them the same.
  141. That's how it should be.
  142. But my point here is
  143. I was picking up other stuff as well,
  144. and I can only take so much.
  145. And that's the way,
    I think I heard MacArthur -
  146. that's the way he reads the Bible,
  147. mastering one book at a time.
  148. Well, I'm trying to do
    it with two at a time,
  149. but that's the way that works for me
  150. at the moment.
  151. So the big thing was
  152. we should imitate other men,
  153. but you got too much in bondage to that?
  154. And that was what was burning you out,
  155. wearing Saul's armor;
  156. having expectations that
    just weren't really
  157. the Lord's will for you personally?
  158. Kevin: Yeah, as I said, the things
  159. that didn't work for me,
  160. I don't want anyone to listen to this
  161. and think well, I shouldn't do that then.
  162. It may work for them.
  163. And if it works for them - great.
  164. It's a bit like sometimes
  165. a Christian mother, for instance.
  166. She'll hear about getting
    up at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m.
  167. to pray and read the Bible.
  168. And she's trying to do
    it with a little toddler
  169. who is screaming or getting ready,
  170. and sometimes it can be better to
  171. just get the children ready to whatever,
  172. and then sit down with a cup of coffee.
  173. And have your devotion then.
  174. Rather than a time when it's impossible.
  175. Everybody's different.
  176. There should be a time though.
  177. But as a pastor, as I said,
  178. as far as reading the Word,
  179. it's harder not to do
  180. because you've just got so
    much preparation anyway.