October is clergy appreciation month in many denominations and this brings added awareness to the epidemic of burnout in churches. In ministry employment, the problem of “pastoral burnout” is well noted, but many churches do little to combat it. Smartphones and social media have increased pastoral burnout….
This has been observed in a number of articles, but Rudnick reminds that church staff are just as susceptible to burnout:
Many church staff in congregations perform several ministry functions even though they are not officially a “pastor”. Special attention to church staff (youth directors, associate ministers, musicians, office assistants, interns, educators, etc…) and their work wellness. Appreciating their work is not enough (a raise wouldn’t hurt). Pastors and church leadership need give more time off in a world where church staff have to do “more with less”. Micromanaging, low pay, unreasonable expectations, many evening commitments, and poorly managed church conflict all lead to staff burnout. Giving the standard “two weeks” vacation is another sure-fire way to burnout staff….
What if churches let church staff allowed church staff to blog, create, dream, build, write, or encourage creativity through side projects? Allowing church staff to express themselves through under utilized skills or talents may help a church find a new ministry. In addition, it allows the church staff to explore and create – something that is innate within humanity. Suppressing creativity only leads to frustration.