Burned Out or Left Out

Burned Out or Left Out

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, … So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together … Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”  Acts 6:1a; 2a; 3-4

Have you experienced burn-out when it comes to serving in your church?

One time on a retreat we were asked to think about what “body part” we were in the Body of Christ. One lady said she felt she was the big toe. Often hidden, but she felt all else weighed upon her. We laughed, but she made her point clear. It spurred us to have a deep conversation about burn-out and training up others to help out so they feel less left out.

I have seen it happen over and over. Drawn to minister in small, starter churches, I see people sacrificially giving of their time and efforts. As the congregation grows, these initial leaders take on too much and never ask the newer members to help out. Eventually griping filters in. “Why aren’t any of the new folks helping out?” Perhaps it is because no one asked them or they felt too intimidated to volunteer.

No matter what size of church we attend, we can take a lesson from the early church as it grew. They multiplied their efforts by divvying up the tasks, each according to their gifts and talents. And that is the key. Everyone’s service to the Body of Christ is of equal importance. When it comes to the ship called the church, it should be all hands on deck.

Dear Lord, you sent the disciples out two by two to do your work. You taught them to divvy up the tasks, so when your church began to grow, they knew what to do. Let us not get to the point where we put the burden solely on ourselves or fool ourselves into thinking it is your will that we do it all. Show us others who can come along side, and help us to recognize their talents even if they do not see them yet. Then give us the humility to ask for their help. In your name, we pray, Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission

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