I want to introduce you to a shocking statistic
“In Australia, around one quarter of church leaders are experiencing burnout as an extreme or significant issue, whilst around half are potential candidates for burnout (Kaldor & Bullpitt, 2001)”
This is a major problem, but not for the reasons you might expect.
Psychologists say that the way for ministers to avoid burnout is threefold.
1. Personal autonomy- being able to act independently of the congregation or denominational structures
2.A sense of competence in ministry- “I am able to do this job”
3. Spiritual connectedness- a sense of unbroken connection to God.
To me then, the statistic is shocking. 50% of ministers AREN’T burntout.
50% of ministers act without interdependence, think they are actually up to the task and identify their own activity with God’s.
Sometimes people want to go beyond the psychological to describe burnout as spiritual attack.
The foolishly conservative among us think ministers of the gospel are not under spiritual attack. And so we think we can prevent burnout with days off and trinkets.
The foolishly charismatic among us think the attack comes primarily from satan. And so we fervently pray as though our lives were more disagreeable to the Father of lies than to the Lord of Glory.
I want to suggest that ministers of the gospel are under spiritual attack from the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit binds us to others in the church. Blowing like the wind, the Holy Spirit wipes away our sense of competence. The Holy Spirit awakens us to judgement, so that we cannot simply identify our lives with the will of God.
As we wrestle with the Angel of God, how do we think we will come away uninjured?
There is certainly a spiritual battle going on in ministers of the gospel.
Most of us fools think the best thing for us is to win this spiritual battle.
Friends, your ministers are under spiritual attack. Pray that they lose.