If you are a burned out Christian leader, you desperately want to hear God himself, speaking to your parched soul. His words can speak into your thirst, hunger and need.
Take one small step to replace your discouragement with God's encouragement. Spend alone time reading the scriptures. God is the great encourager. Open up your Bible and let Him become your focus.
What should you read when you're on the edge of burnout ... or burned out? Below are a few suggestions. You probably have hundreds of versus underlined in your Bible. Read those. Just read and meditate on what God says, and it will begin to produce a change in you.
All scriptures quoted are from the New International Version of the Bible.
Remind yourself of God’s word to individual leaders in the Bible. They dealt with some of the same emotions as you and me. Different situations, same stresses and the emotions they evoke. Read about an individual leader, or several, and see how God brings them through and lifts them up.
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.
Joshua .. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.
1 Chronicles 28:20
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work … is finished.
Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
Look for those passages that point you to some characteristic of God, or to the actions He takes toward us. Take hold of those promises. Repeat them over and over throughout the day. For instance, that God gives strength.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might.
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
In the same way the presence of the Lord Jesus indelibly impressed itself on the disciples, His presence and the promised Holy Spirit is with us today doing that same work in us.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
Mathew 11:28 - 30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
You are running on empty, but God is running on full. As you read, His fullness will be increasingly infused into your spirit. You’ll find new energy to keep going. Then read again. The New Testament sheds light on God’s ways with us, and the immediacy of his presence with us.
2 Thessalonians 3:13
And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The prophets were used to speak into the current situation of the people of God. They were also used to speak about the future, especially as it reflected God’s love story with caring about people and His provision of a Savior.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
Isaiah 40:28 - 30
Have you not heard? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
You might be a burned out Christian leader, but you probably have a lot of history of reading the Scriptures behind you. Open your well-used Bible, and simply read the scriptures you have underlined. You probably have a whole library of promises, encouragements, and uplifting examples that you have underlined through the years. They encouraged you then and they can “re-encourage” you now.
1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
What am I trying to say? A burned out Christian leader needs God as much right now, as at any other time in life.
We need God.
A holiday, or quitting, or changing locations, or careers, or the best thought through strategies won’t solve the “deep down need,” you have in your tired soul. Those things might play a part, but they are medium and longer term. God wants to lift you up NOW, and He often does it beginning with His Word.
His Word is strong and mighty to effect a transformative change deep within us that you and I might have a tough time explaining. Open the Word. Stay in the Word. Couple it with a lot of talking to God in prayer, like in the Psalms. He is here for you.
Dear burned out Christian leader: Do you get the message? BE ENCOURAGED!