As a pastor, leading your church is a very rewarding job. You’re passionate about your mission, you engage and connect with people daily, you provide support and opportunities for your congregation to connect and help others, all while spreading the word of God.
So, why do you sometimes feel alone, unmotivated, stressed, and tired?
The truth? From carrying out daily responsibilities and stretching inadequate resources to keeping your people coming back and caring for a large number of congregants, pastoring is more challenging in the 21st century. And all these pressures and more may be leading you towards pastor burnout.
What are the causes of church staff burnout?
According to Carey Nieuwhof, former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, “More than most environments, ministry combines what you do (your work) with what you believe (your faith) and your community (your congregation/friends). Without skillful navigation, that can create a roller coaster of emotions that push leaders toward burnout.”
Church staff burnout can be caused by the following tasks and expectations that are piling up on your plate:
- Being on call 24/7
- Criticism and poor conflict resolution skills
- Trying to please or solve everyone’s problems
- Not delegating task
- Poor social networks
- Not equipped for all aspects of ministry
- Limited social life outside the church
What is the impact of that churn on the church?
Unfortunately, as your motivation wanes, your passion fades, and your productivity drops. This not only affects your well-being, but the welfare of your church community, too.
Despite continually working long hours, what you’re doing, or in this case not doing, shows in the diminished value you may be producing, as well as your attitude towards your people. The church may start sensing your change in mood, dedication, engagement, and lack of positivity. This can impact the desire your current people and new congregants may have to continue engaging and connecting with your church.
Can technology help church staff burnout?
Technology is not necessarily the solve-all solution. But it is a means of getting you back on track and easing the toll church responsibilities and expectations are taking on you.
Better technology and communication can help. You and your church leadership team will see immediate work and life improvements with tools that help delegate church tasks, track your congregants activity and interests, make planning sermons and small groups easier, and encourage giving amongst your people past Sunday service.
What does that look like for your church?
As a pastor, you’re not meant to take on the entire weight of your church. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
“The best leaders are the ones who are wise enough to know when to call in reinforcement”
Justin Firesheets of Church Production
The definition of “reinforcements” can be broad, from seeking out an extra set of hands to using church technology.
So, toss out the notebook, set aside your spreadsheet tracker, and lean into technology that can help. A good ChMS will provide efficiency to your operations and a happier pastor and church staff. With a robust ChMS in place, you should be able to automate follow-up communication, assign church staff and leaders as task owners, and even track and auto-assign your volunteers.
For example, many churches have separate systems for volunteer tracking vs. worship planning, which can cause more headaches and stress when they are managed in silos. A well-oiled ChMS should be able to connect those systems so you aren’t having to hop from one system to the next, saving you more time — which many of us can always use.
Another common situation is using giving tools and accounting software that don’t mesh. Investing in a giving and donor management solution that seamlessly integrates with your accounting system is truly a gift from heaven.
Lastly, successfully using digital tools starts with the support of your church staff and leaders. Understanding what your church tech can provide can help you effectively engage your leadership team to explore what responsibilities to take off your plate, and determine how your teams utilize specific tools, while providing you with additional support where it’s needed.
If this makes sense, we’d love to chat about how we could help. Contact one of our experts today.
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