Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Avoiding Leadership Burnout

2 Tim 2:1-2 You then,  my child,  be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and  what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses  entrust to faithful men  who will be able to teach others also.

Burn-out is a common phenomenon among ministry leaders. This is not necessary if we learn the two important secrets of perpetuity in ministry spelt out by Paul in the above verses.

The first secret is this: If we want to avoid burn-out, we must always minister by the power of God's grace, never in our own strength. The sure path to burnout is to rely on ourselves. The true ministry belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ: we simply join Him in His ministry. Jesus has said, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." He wants us to exchange His ministry for ours because His is easy and light. But all too often, ministry leaders are trying to do their own thing. Their prayer is: "Lord, bless what I am doing." Whereas, we should be praying, "Lord, help me do what You are blessing." As we learn to observe what God is doing and join Him in His work, we will receive His grace through the power of the Spirit. Instead of burning OUT, we burn UP! Hallelujah!

Secondly, if we are to avoid burnout, we must remember that the goal of ministry is MULTIPLICATION. Too often, burn-out leaders not only rely on their own strength and trying to pursue their own vision, they also try to do everything themselves. They think that no one else can do the job better than they do (which may be true), but such mindset limits the multiplication process. Paul's instruction to Timothy is to "commit to faithful men who are able to teach others." The strategy for leadership perpetuity is to multiply ourselves by committing to faithful men who are able to teach others what we know. In other words, we don't just train the second generation but also train them to train the third generation. When we consciously multiply till the third generation, we will ensure perpetuity in our ministry long after  we are gone. Success in ministry is measured not by our own success by the number of successors we raise up after us.

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