Symptoms of church planter burnout

by John Gross

Some have asked, “How do I know if I am suffering from burnout?” Signs of church-planting burnout include losing your thrill for planting, not wanting to go to your office, chronic fatigue and frustration, an inability to handle stress, or dreading making decisions. If you would rather go out of town than stay home, do manual labor around the church than concentrate on the ministries of the church, or prefer somebody else preach on Sunday, then you might have symptoms of burnout.

What are some of the causes for burnout? Discouragement when you fail to reach your unrealistic expectations or being a workaholic with excessive passion for your work and not taking time off for your family and relaxation (although this is not to be used as an excuse to not do the needed work). Overloading just a few people can lead to team burnout because you failed to delegate in a responsible manner. If the same people are setting up chairs every Sunday or picking up road signs every Sunday, group burnout is going to take place.

What is the cure? The church planter often finds himself being all things to all people at all times. This makes it almost impossible for him to follow a strict schedule. One essential in the life of the planter is to operate with a strategy that allows him to plan his daily, weekly, monthly, and annual schedule. This schedule should include his private prayer and study time, family time, and work schedule. Without a strict strategic strategy, burnout is inevitable.