Church Communicator Burnout
“If you’re burnt out, it likely means you’ve been ‘burning’ for a long time.” –Erin Williams
Church communicator burnout is a serious issue. We do important work—sharing the gospel—but that doesn’t mean we can work ourselves to death. We have to take care of ourselves. Communication is a marathon, not a sprint. So learn more about church communicator burnout and how to take better care of yourself.
No Smoke Without Fire
It happens. More and more responsibilities pile on, your work day extends and you begin to wonder why you even started this job in the first place. If you’re smelling smoke, then slow down and read some of the prevention tips we’ve accumulated for you:
- Admit It: It’s OK if you’re losing steam. Re-evaluate the situation, take a break and maybe consider rearranging your schedule.
- Dying Empty: It’s not about feeling drained at the end of the day, but about giving yourself a fulfillable purpose each day.
- Quit Something: You might need to quit something good in order to focus on something great.
- Just Say No: When you’re a church communicator, so much stuff can be piled on you that you feel like you might burst at the seams! At that point, you only have three options, and one of them may be to just say no.
- Office Hours: More hours doesn’t mean more productivity. Create boundaries and stick to them.
- Separation of Church and Life: Working in a church is hard! Build a good culture by scheduling other back-up support members so you’re not always getting hauled out of the service every time there’s a crisis.
- Disagree Well: Sometimes you’re going to disagree and your pastor will pull rank. Learn how to deal with disagreement and still get the job done.
- Healthy Systems: Surrounding yourself with supportive team members will give you clarity and space for breaks. Learn more in this video:
You’re Not Perfect
This isn’t a shock to you. So don’t keep living as if it is.
- Not an Expert: It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong if you’re not an expert in everything. Allow yourself to ask for help without shame. Even if you don’t know everything, you have something figured out.
- Redefine Excellence: It can be easy to think you’re failing if everything isn’t perfect. Don’t fall into that trap. Redefine excellence by seeing it as doing the best with what you have.
- Comparisons: Don’t compare yourself to others. Your success shouldn’t be measured by what the church down the road does.
- Keep Your Ego in Check: Sometimes other ministries and pastors expect too much, but sometimes the problem is our own ego.
- Refuel: You can’t be wonderfully creative all the time. It’s not a water faucet you can turn on and off. Take the time to refuel your creativity.
Burning out isn’t always about late hours at the office—it’s often about how you’re doing on the inside. Are you seeing any warning signs in your life?
- Know Yourself: Doing some introspection might be healthy. To be a good church communicator, you have to make peace with who you are and what your limitations are.
- Rest & Recharge: When was the last time you “recharged”? Adam Legg provides good tips for letting yourself rest.
- Read your Bible: It should be a no-brainer, but working in ministry can easily cut into your devotional time. These verses (submitted by fellow church communicators) are meant to help get you in the groove again. You can also check out the devotional for creatives, Created for More.
- Give Thanks: Take time to reflect on your first day of work and be grateful for all you’ve been given since then. Giving thanks can be an amazing way to remind yourself what you love about being a church communicator.
In a 2013 interview we asked Adam Legg how he handles the stress and pressure of being a church communicator. Here’s his answer:
This may sound like a typical church answer but for me this has all been about Jesus. The pressure, stress and expectations are there every single day and if I let those things control my life I am finished right from the beginning, however I really believe that Jesus meant it when he said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I think that too often we forget those promises are for us.
Come to me church communicators who are tired, exhausted, burned out, stressed and crushed under the weight of expectation, and I will give you rest.
That’s the only relief I have found for my weary soul.
When You Get Burned
But sometimes, you get burned. What can you do when that happens?
- Find a safe community
- Practice grace and mercy
- Choose to trust
- Refocus your identity
- Take a step back
And when you’re ready, you look back to see what you learned, and you move on.
Church Communicator Burnout Ends Now
Don’t become another victim of church communicator burnout. Don’t wait until you see the signs of burnout to do something about it. Resolve to take better care of yourself today. In this podcast, you can learn how to practice self-care all year long: