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← Practical Advice to Avoid Burnout As a Pastor - Clint Leiter

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Showing Revision 1 created 08/15/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. There are some practical things
  2. in this work of being a pastor
  3. in the way of not burning out.
  4. You want to be there over the long haul.
  5. Charles and Dick -
  6. they had a celebration up there
  7. at Lake Road.
  8. Forty years in the ministry back then.
  9. It's forty-plus now.
  10. That's what you want long term.
  11. Survive as long as God
    would have you there.
  12. There are maybe some practical things
  13. that help someone to survive
  14. in the work of the ministry
  15. that are sometimes overlooked.
  16. I guess I could just offer that
  17. in consideration.
  18. I've been told by some to take a day off.
  19. Take one day out of the week as a pastor
  20. and make it a day off.
  21. I was initially reluctant to do that,
  22. but I have adopted that.
  23. Tim and Ruby Conway suggested that to me
  24. in concern for me during the hard times
  25. that we were going through,
  26. and it was very helpful.
  27. I'm so thankful they did.
  28. During that time off,
  29. I don't hold to it as something
  30. that is binding in the sense that
  31. if someone had an emergency,
  32. I would turn my back on them.
  33. It's not like that.
  34. But my focus on that day off is different.
  35. I don't pore over the
    books on that day off.
  36. You know, Solomon said
  37. excessive attention to books
  38. is wearying to the body.
  39. We need a day off during that time.
  40. And so I don't pore over the books
  41. quite like I would normally
  42. on that day off.
  43. I tend to do things that
    are more recreational.
  44. I like landscaping and flowers.
  45. I am a fan of - a supporter of - a hobby
  46. for a man to have; a pastor to have.
  47. Something that's mindless.
  48. Something that he enjoys doing.
  49. I think that helps.
  50. It helps the emotional; it helps the mind
  51. to relax and unwind.
  52. You can't keep that heart
  53. strung tight all the time.
  54. You've got to let the
    strings loose sometimes.
  55. And so I have flowers.
  56. I like to shoot guns
    and do things like that.
  57. Something relaxing,
  58. something that lets the mind go.
  59. Those are helps to avoid burnout.
  60. It helps to get physical exercise
  61. for a man in the ministry.
  62. The way that I'm wired,
  63. for some reason, I've got to have
  64. some intense physical exercise
  65. on a regular basis or I start feeling
  66. low and lethargic and not doing very well.
  67. So I go to the gym.
  68. I do CrossFit myself.
  69. Others might go on walks
  70. or others might take up running.
  71. I had a lot of benefit from running
  72. when I was able to do it.
  73. The Lord just came to
    me and cleared my thoughts.
  74. Sermons ordered themselves on a nice run.
  75. So those kinds of things really help
  76. in the way of not being burned out
  77. and maintaining some
    sort of mental resilience,
  78. emotional resilience in
    the work of the ministry.
  79. Kind of an attitude of
    outlasting problems.
  80. A hunker-down kind of an attitude.
  81. The Lord will help me through it.
  82. We'll endure it. It's just a season.
  83. We can get through it.
  84. We tend to think it's going
    to be the end of us, you know.
  85. So the Lord helps in those ways too.
  86. James: Any other practical things

  87. or those kind of the ones
    you had on your mind?
  88. Clint: We need to be able to get rest.

  89. We've got to be able to sleep.
  90. If you can't sleep,
  91. you're going to go down
    hill in a hurry emotionally.
  92. You've got to be able to
    get some rest and sleep.
  93. Keep regular hours.
  94. Not burn the midnight oil - up all night
  95. trying to prepare a sermon
    for Sunday or something.
  96. That might be an emergency situation,
  97. but it ought not to be the regular.
  98. There's no reason why the Lord
  99. can't bring a sermon on Monday,
  100. and it doesn't have to come on Saturday.
  101. So I start in the work early.
  102. If Monday's my day off, I might not
  103. give any thought to it on Monday,
  104. but when Tuesday comes,
  105. I start working on what I need to speak on
  106. in the following Sunday.
  107. I don't want to arrive at Saturday
  108. and not have anything.
  109. It's too stressful for me.
  110. That's me.
  111. Other men are really able to do that,
  112. but I'm not.
  113. I'm too weak for that approach.
  114. I've got to start early.
  115. James: Me too.
  116. Clint: And so that's where I'm at.
  117. Learn to compartmentalize. That helps.
  118. In other words, here's this issue
  119. or here's this thing I
    need to think about,
  120. but I'm not going to think about it now.
  121. I'm going to think about
    it two days from now.
  122. When two days are up,
    then I'll think about it.
  123. In the meantime,
  124. I'll let my mind rest.
  125. Compartmentalize.
  126. It's maybe just a mind game,
  127. but it helps.
  128. And then, don't lie to yourself.
  129. When that day comes, take it up
  130. and begin to think about it seriously.
  131. But in the meantime,
  132. as best you're able,
  133. don't think about it then.
  134. It's a challenge because problems -
  135. they tyrannize your mind.
  136. They take over.
  137. You can't ignore a T-Rex, you know,
  138. in the dinosaur world.
  139. And so problems become like that.
  140. They're hard to ignore.
  141. But in reality, we're not ignoring it.
  142. We're just postponing the time
  143. when we're going to
    put the energy into it.
  144. That's I guess what I mean
    by compartmentalizing.
  145. It's a trick that's helpful
  146. when it comes to not burning out
  147. and lasting.
  148. You can select another part
    of this interview below
  149. or if you're listening, you can
    find the rest of the interview
  150. on or our mobile app.