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Ministerial Burn out

Burn out is a common hazard that need not destroy its victims.

"Where does the fire go? Again and again, ministers burn out. They lose their enthusiasm and excitement; they become bored and pedantic; and they decide to leave the ministry and enter other occupations.

Burn out is a hazard common to the service professions. Social workers, teachers, nurses, psychiatrists, and counselors all are in danger of suffering from a malady that makes once-coveted jobs seem like thankless chores. But ministers are especially hard hit because there is a stigma attached to leaving the ministry. It's seen as a spiritual failure, and those who leave often suffer a special kind of guilt about failing to fulfill their call.

Fortunately, burn out is not inevitable. It's often tied to misconceptions about the nature of Christian ministry, reluctance to change traditional pastoral roles, and unrealistic idealism about a minister's humanity. Burn out doesn't have to happen. If forewarned of the dangers, ministers might better anticipate, plan for, and work through this threat. ...

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