Handling the Flames: Thoughts on Burnout in Ministry

in Journal of Youth and Theology
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As the Song of Songs relates in chapters two and three, the bride finds herself alone, out of the presence of her love. This causes great consternation and she determines that she must have him, so she goes to search for him. In the same way, the loss of the wild abandoned pursuit of our divine Lover results in burnout in ministry. The thrust of this article is not to further discuss the widely recognized idea that burnout in ministry does occur, but rather to dissect burnout in the stages in which it occurs as well as the areas that it affects the minister, and then to recognize it in its earliest forms so that the loss of fire for God is not the end result of the flames the minister encounters in minishy. Included in this article is a discussion of theology regarding the "indispensability complex" that many ministers often receive from the continuing expectations of their church or ministry, as well as a discussion of handling times of darkness in the minister's life and fanning into flame the passion for our Lover, which is the source of all energy in the ministry.

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