Pastoral Burnout

Mark Driscoll has blogged at The Resurgence about how his body is wearing down from pastoring and preaching at one of the fastest growing churches in America, Mars Hill. Obviously the Lord has/is blessing Mark’s ministry, but I must admit that I question his rationale for keeping up this hectic speaking schedule {he preaches at least 4 times a Sunday}.

Now, before you throw stones, let me tell you that I love this guy. I listen to his sermons, have read his books, and I think very highly of him. You can say that I’m a fan. I think he’s great. But here’s my problem with some megachurches. And before you throw stones, let me say that I see nothing wrong with them. The more people we can reach with the Gospel, the better. And video services I have no problem with either. Use technology, go for it. Extend the kingdom.

Here’s my issue. As a preacher, I know it is physically demanding to preach when you put your soul into it. I have heard it said that preaching for one hour is equivalent to 8 hours of hard manual labor. I can’t prove it, but I would agree. It takes a toll on you. My problem, or rather, question to those pastors who preach extensively in one day/weekend often enough that its causing physical issues is: why not bring on another pastor who is an equally qualified, gifted teacher who can help carry the load? Surely there are gifted teaching pastors out there looking for a ministry position? Might you alternate?

This is just me wondering about my fellow brothers out there who are over-extending themsleves. Mark, if you happen to read this, and I doubt you will, keep up the good work. I’m praying for you. I hope you multiply abundantly and reach even more of Seattle with the Gospel. I pray that you plant more churches. I hope that God opens more opportunities for you to write books, speak at conferences, raise up elders, etc because we need you. I only hope that you and the other gifted brothers who have a large platform will find a way to do it, but not have to do it all yourself.

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3 comments

  1. B to the M,

    I have often thought about starting a church with Co-Pastors. That do exactly that alternate preaching, maybe not every other week but maybe more like every other month, or take a series and divide it up. That sorta thing. Plus you have to pastors that have different gifts as well, one is more pastoral care oriented, the other more administrative. (and not co-pastors as in the husband and wife thing you see at some churches)

    Thoughts I have sometimes, call me a heretic, call me a creepy, just don’t call me Shirley, or call collect.

    McMinniture

  2. Yea, bro, I feel the same way. Of course finding salaries for 2 pastors in a small church can be hard, but certainly a megachurch could afford 2. Maybe its pride/ego, maybe its people latching on to one personality, maybe its that people aren’t being taught about the benefits of diversity, etc. I don’t know. But if I was as burned out as some of these pastors, I’d like someone to share the load. A day off even in a small church setting is refreshing, can’t imagine how it would feel to not have to preach 4-5 times one day. But I imagine I’ll NEVER be in that position.

    I think I’ll call collect BUT tell them its a collect call from Shirley…

  3. Hi,

    I would like to share with you a good ebook that’s free to help pastors and their wives with discouragement and burnout. You can find it at: http://www.stoppastorburnout.com . It’s quite helpful.

    If you have pastor friends or even their wives, we are currently inviting pastors and pastor wives to join charter membership club for free for 2 months,you might want to share this with them. You may visit http://www.susandavidlifecoach.com/index.php/sponsors for more information.

    We would also like to invite you to view our video on this topic at

    Feel free to share this with your friends or people you care for.

    Thanks,

    Susan David

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