Hello! My name is Rebecca, and I am the part-time admin assistant for my church’s student ministry. I started this job in January 2020, and what a wild ride it has been!
I started the job right in the middle of planning for DNOW, a huge weekend-long, multi-church conference. Then, as soon as that event ended, COVID-19 hit, and my job that I had not even had time to settle into took a huge 180.
The student ministry has changed so much and so many times in the past year and a half. On top of just learning how to do my job, I was always working with my team to come up with the most effective and safest virtual (and then back in-person) programming. Let’s just say, I got burnt out very quickly. I feel like my brain has never turned off since I started this job.
It has been a hard year and a half, but seeing the students come to Jesus and develop closer relationships with Him has made it all worth it. One verse that I have clung to during this time is Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (NIV). Without Jesus, I would not have made it through this past year and a half. Ministry is such a rewarding calling, but it is anything but easy.
For other current ministry leaders that are dealing with burnout, I have a couple of pieces of advice for you:
First, it is okay to take a break! Even as a part-time employee, I have felt as if I have been working a full-time job. Recently, I have been giving myself permission to stay away from work mentally on the two days a week that I do not work. I have allowed myself to use my vacation days without feeling guilty. I have allowed myself to tell my boss when I need to take a step back on a project for my health.
Second, cling to Jesus. When we are burnt out, it usually means because we are trying to do too many things at once. And, for me personally, it means that I am trying to take control of everything. I don’t know about you, but I tend to let my relationship with Jesus slip when I am very busy. But I have learned that I cannot make it through my job or life without putting Him first. Trust me, I have tried that and failed many times.
I hope that this has offered you some encouragement as you are facing a difficult time in your ministry work. I pray for you ministry leaders all the time and the amazing work that you are doing for the Kingdom.