A couple years back I was on a tele-coaching call with Nelson Searcy and I asked him what he does to prevent his staff from burning out. With our volunteers we rotate people one month on then one month off. That’s our strategy to not burnout our volunteers but currently we don’t have any strategy to not burnout our paid staff. And since I love my staff and don’t want them to get burned out I asked Nelson how I go about doing that. I was suprised at his answer. Here’s what he said:
It is not the lead pastor’s responsibility to prevent burnout among the paid staff. Paid staff get burned out for two primary reasons: 1) they are not taking a Sabbath’s day rest and 2) they are not recruiting more volunteers for their department.
I thought that was very interesting advice. The more I thought about it the more I realized how true it was. God’s burnout prevention plan for paid staff (and everyone else) is the Sabbath’s Day rest (Exodus 20:8-10). If you’re feeling burned out you may want to ask yourself “Am I honoring God by taking a Sabbath’s Day rest?” The next question you may want to ask yourself if you’re feeling worn out, burnt out, stressed, overwhelmed, etc. is “Have I faithfully spent time each week trying to recruit volunteers?” If there’s slack there’s lack. This means that if there’s a lack of volunteers there’s been slack in the amount of time spent recruiting volunteers. And if you’re short on help this could be why you’re stressed out and burnt out.