How can I serve like Jesus without burning out?

As Christians we are supposed to sacrificially give of ourselves for the benefit of our neighbors without the expectation of a return. But how do we do this in a way that is healthy for us and for those around us? What do we do with the guilt we feel for not being able to be all things to all people? And what does it say about my faith if I get burnt out and feel like I can’t give any more? This week, Vince and Jo talk through what it means to be creatures who have limitations, and what that might mean for a proper understanding of rest in light of a God who pours himself out on our behalf.


Thanks for sharing this, Robert! I remember several years ago my wife and me hitting burnout from the strain of always saying “yes” to all asks while having a new, and growing, family. It got so bad that my wife needed to disconnect from service/leadership for a few years before she could reengage. She still gets anxious when the asks start to come.

The Pareto Rule (The 80/20 Rule) seems to find its way into the church - 20% do 80%. Maybe it’s even more like 5% do 95%! To many, the Christian life is church attendance, which is a spectator sport for them - watching a performance instead of participating in a caring, worship community. I have often wondered, if it is a fault of our church leadership style. I have asked our pastors why they don’t ask specific people to help them with specific things in order to develop a participatory congregation. But, it seems abnormal for them to engage specific parishioners in this manner.

I was poleaxed when I read an article in which the writer stated, “The pace of doing God’s work is destroying God’s work in me”. Since I came across that, I try to consider, if I am too busy to keep the main thing the main thing. The main thing is being in communion with the Godhead. When I am properly aligned to God, then the zoe and agape of God will be in me and available through me to others. If not, then I’m trying to make do with my own ability - not a good thing!

I think, if the main thing isn’t the main thing anymore, then it is time to cut back or take a sabbatical and then reengage when it is restored to proper balance.

Hope you have a good week!


This is a great question @Robert_Repke
Having this priority ranking has really helped me. God-Wife-Children-Ministry.
Our priority should be time with Him. Communicating with Holy Spirit throughout the day. Then the next relationship being with our wives, then children. If our ministry comes between any of these I believe it is time to rethink things.
I took on too much a few years back and burned out. Learning how to say no is very important.
I do believe that God expands our capacity when we are in his will. Bless you brother as you figure all this out.