That’s not okay.
The same percentage works well over 50 hours a week. Do a quick Google on issues contributing to ministry burnout and you’ll find overwork, stress and enough time for family near the top of the lists.
This is a pervasive problem.
It’s not just that pastors have a tendency to work too much…I think many ministry leaders are so afraid of being lazy they border on burning themselves out.
There’s a destructive cult of overwork in the ministry culture that is incredibly selfish on pretty much everyone’s part. When pastors throw in the towel because they are physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally exhausted, it’s often because their congregations demanded a level of “service” that is impossible to sustain. And they just can’t say no. The idea is that you’re supposed to “sacrifice for the ministry.”
Who gets hurt?
Not only is the pastor hurt by this sort of thing, but the pastor’s spouse, kids, and congregation are hurt too. Sometimes the damage is irreparable.
As Christian leaders, we have to believe that saying “no” to something (even a good thing) in order to get enough rest is not only okay…it’s a good decision.
Getting adequate rest is taking care of yourself so that you can keep working to help others. If you’re exhausted, you’re out of resources. You can’t give people what you don’t have.
Believe me, I get that it’s tough. I like to work. I feel the urgency of what I do. I can feel the pressure from others too. I don’t want to be lazy.
That’s why rest is a discipline for many of us. You’ve got to discipline yourself to get the rest that God designed you to have, and resist the guilt-trips from yourself and others.
Taking care of yourself in order to bless others isn’t laziness. It’s good stewardship. (Tweet this!)
What’s keeping your from getting the rest you need to be your best for God and others?