This is a pretty honest look at ministry and the ugly side of it and about overcoming/preventing burnout. Its by Anne Jackson.
You may or may not know, but ministry has the second highest burnout level of any vocation in the United States, behind doctors. This doesn’t minimize the fact that their are a TON of other jobs out there that are way more stressful and are equally hard jobs, but this book is really about the unique pressures that ministry can bring.
So don’t worry, I didn’t read this book because I feel like I am burning out. I have had seasons where I was getting pretty tired and thought about giving up. Its hard to believe by Amy and I have already been in ministry for 7 1/2 years, and you can’t be in ministry that long in my opinion without at least thinking about quitting once or twice. I’ve already been in ministry about 3-5x longer than the average youth minister in America depending on the statistic you look at. So you get the point.
Anyways, I thought this was a helpful book, it looks at some really practical things. She talks about things like eating habits, sleeping habits, exercising and things like that to stay healthy. There are some good statistics in there about the reality of taking care of ourselves. Its an area where I can use some help. I’ve started going to bed earlier and my first goal was to go to bed before midnight every night. I’ve done good the last week or two. I stop working, and just go to bed. Doesn’t matter if I’ve finished what I am doing that evening. I am trying to create a good rhythm for sleeping and not just catch up.
I think sometimes we can kind of take pride in ourselves that we can work a certain amount of time and only sleep a certain amount of hours. If we are honest, we want to come across as hard workers and I think its actually a form of boasting, it has been in my life in the past. But I want to boast in nothing except the cross of Christ. I also want longevity. I think while we re young, we can probably get away with certain amounts of sleep, but it will catch up with us. You can’t cheat but for so long. Go ahead and make the adjustment.
If you are feeling burnt out, or feeling convicted about the way you take care of your body, than this would be a great read for you. its short, easy to read and has some great, honest questions to ask yourself.