Do you ever feel overworked as a pastor? Like you’re at the church every moment of every day with a never-ending list of to-dos? Are you spending more time doing church programming instead of time investing in meaningful relationships with others?
Does your family have to come up to the church just to see you?
Burnout for pastors is a real thing, but it isn’t what God intended for our calling.
Jesus specifically talks about this in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus saw the hurting crowd and He told His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2 ESV)
Jesus didn’t say, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few, so I’ll just do it myself otherwise it will never get done.” But that is what many pastors do. They give in to the notion that no one wants to help and no one cares.
But that is simply not true. If you want more laborers in the field, you have to pray for God to send them your way. You have to train them to join you in the work, and then release them to do it. Jesus never envisioned a single laborer in the field trying to get it all in.
Looking further into Jesus’ ministry, He invited twelve men to come alongside him in ministry. Jesus spent years investing in to them, training them to take up the mantle after He was gone.
After His death and resurrection, Jesus empowered His disciples with the power of the Holy Spirit to go out and make more disciples. And they did.
As a pastor, if you’re missing time with your family or even time to rest in God’s Word for your own personal growth, it might be time for you to examine where you’re spending most of your energy.
The only way your ministry is going to grow is if you begin investing into the lives of the people around you.
Stop tending the harvest on your own.