Church Staffing | Preventing Burnout
Church leaders are experiencing burnout like never before.
Thank you for joining us today on the church staffing podcast where we our goal is to help church leaders make the most out of their ministry. I am Kyle Willis, the Founder of Talanton Church Services here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At Talanton Church Services | Church Consulting we aim to come alongside pastors and church leaders to help ease the burden of administration in operations within the church. Many times, church leaders are experiencing burnout because they are asked to wear many different hats or fulfill responsibilities outside of their skill set. Today we will be sharing church best practices to preventing burnout within your church staff.
Carey Neiwhouf, the pastor of Connexus Church, recently surveyed a group of church leaders at the Pushpay Summit in Dallas, Texas. There were over 1,000 church leaders in the auditorium as Carey took the stage. After defining burnout, he digitally surveyed the audience and asked church staff, “How many times in the last year have you experienced burnout?” Only 7% of the church staff answered zero times. That means that 93% of church staff had experienced some level of burnout in the last year. That is simply not healthy or Biblical. Talanton Church Services is here to help you with your church staffing and preventing burnout.
Burnout within your church staffing will often feel like being numb to the world or simply an indifference to the world. The things you once loved as a pastor or church leader do not excite you. Even personal stress points, such as the loss of a family member, can pass without any real emotions. The problem of burnout is even further complicated because of the guilt associated with not feeling the correct emotion. Burnout is not Biblically based, but really a pressure of living in a fallen world.
So how do we as church leaders prevent burnout in our church staffing? If you need medication to help heal from burnout, it certainly can be part of an overall healing plan. I do not have all the answers as you must discuss any personal feelings with a licensed therapist. I can however share from my personal struggle with preventing burnout.
Talanton Church Services | Church Staffing | Preventing Burnout
The first point I want to reiterate is the need for professional help. If you or your church staff is showing signs of serious burnout, a licensed counselor will provide a safe space for identifying the source of your burnout and allow for healing in a private setting. For me, New Roads Counseling provided the best avenue to preventing burnout again. Marty is a former pastor and now works with individuals to help them discover who God has called them to be. Over several months of working with New Roads, I was able to better understand the pressures I was facing and how to set appropriate boundaries for future routines.
Next, preventing burnout in your church staff can be the result of managing your energy. Unfortunately the demands of most churches do not allow the individual to work around their natural energy. Although church leaders will want to set up some basic guidelines, allowing individual staff members opportunities to voice their desires around work schedules, can allow for church staff to be more productive and efficient. This may look like alternative work hours, optional days to work off-site, or even allowing flexible time away from the congregation.
As church consultants, one of the ways we have seen burnout accidentally encouraged, is communicating with pastors and church staff outside of normal work hours. Establishing expected boundaries, will allow your church staff members to set a routine in the professional and personal life. If you find yourself texting or emailing early in the morning or late at night, you may be inadvertently be increasing stress and burnout in your church staff. Would you be willing to let your hourly church staff members take a 15 minute call during your staff meeting? Probably not. Then why are you willing to interrupt family dinner with a quick text message. Developing a habit of delayed sending your emails is a great start to establishing some boundaries in off hours.
Another recommendation for preventing burnout is to develop close, authentic relationships. We are talking about friends that will call you out when you are wrong, not fake friendships who distract you from the things you value. Friends have been a stable consistent in my life, even while starting Talanton Church Services. They were there early on to encourage me during the tough times, redirect when I was off track, and simply listen when no one else would. During some of my darkest seasons, these same friends would simply call and ask how I was doing that day. Preventative maintenance is better than reacting to burnout for many pastors and ministers.
Finally, at Talanton Church Services, we recommend creating opportunities to use volunteers or professional service companies to outsource non-ministry related tasks. Unfortunately, one of the biggest distractions from your church’s ministry, may actually be your church staff. Could you benefit from having half the number of actual employees, while not increasing your church personnel expenses? Talanton Church Services can help. Call us today at 405.343.8700 to ask questions regarding the future of church staffing?
We know you want to be good stewards of everything that God has entrusted you with, including your church staffing. So if you are out there today and could benefit from enhanced personnel processes, please don’t hesitate to give Kyle Willis a call at 405.343.8700 to schedule a free consultation. Once again this has been Kyle Willis with Talanton Church Services | Church Consulting and it has our pleasure to share about preventing burnout in Christian ministry.