Serving without getting burnt out

I recently had to make the hard decision to close down the Bible study I had been leading for a couple of years. It met at my house on a Sunday afternoon. At one level it wasn't a really a hard decision because most people in the group hadn't been able to come for most of the year, so it had reached the end of its natural life. But it was hard for me personally because it made me feel that I had failed by not making the group a success.

As I decided to close the group I was reading a little book called 'Serving without sinking' by John Hindley. It was a helpful book as it identified many of the reasons that people in churches get burnt out. And part of getting burnt out is believing that you have to keep going because God can't really do it all without you.

It has been humbling for me to acknowledge that I can't make something work even if I try hard. I have to trust that God will look after the people in my group because once again I am reminded that it is His work not mine.

It's hard to let go of a ministry that you care about. I have joined another group and I am enjoying just being a member. I'm not the world's finest leader but have often done it simply because I'm willing and able. Believe me, there is no minister's wife school where they teach you these skills. I've mostly ended up leading groups because I care about it and want to make it happen, not because I am naturally gifted at it. So it is nice to be a member and have a break from doing something that doesn't come naturally.


Kath said…
Hi Jenny,
That book sounds good. I have been helped by realising that God can do lots of good things without me. But it is also encouraging to see him work through our efforts, especially if they are grounded in faithful and sometimes stretching work.
My husband has just finished working at a church and that meant shutting down our play group because there is noone else to run it without us there. Sad, but I admit it has helped me feel a bit freer.
Your thinking post expresses well the gap between contemplation and wrestling with ideas, and a coherent thoughtful blog post. I'm struggling to cross it at the moment, too.
Bless you.
Rachach said…
Good post Jenny. I, for one, am very glad that you are coming along to our group. You are a fantastic member of our group andI am very encouraged by the things you say and share with us!

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