This past Sunday we launched a new message series called Pause at LifePoint. The basic premise is that we need times of reflection and meditation throughout our journey with God. Recently I went through a period of pause. I was burned out. Planting a church is hard and planting a church, “up the middle” as Tim Keller has put it, is even harder. I thought I would share some signs that you may need a pause in your life. These were some of the things that I started doing because of my own frustrations and burn out. These may not be exactly the same for you but I hope they give you some hints that a time of rest and reflection are well overdue.
- I lost my desire to talk or write about the church. I just didn’t have the energy for it anymore. What is it that used to be a passion for you that you now seem to dread?
- I created distractions. This usually ends up being web & graphic design for me. If I start talking about doing freelance work or tons of design projects, its a pretty good indication that I am suffering from burnout.
- I became really sensitive. I don’t mean that I cried at LDS commercials. I mean that things bugged me more than usual. If someone criticized a message I taught, it became more persoanl than usual. If a decision I made was questioned, it became a slight. If something wasn’t done the way I asked, it became incompetence. Everything was rubbing me the wrong way.
These are great signs that something is out of balance and that a period of rest is needed. If you find yourself struggling with these symptoms then it may be time to hit pause and wait on God. Here are a few things that I am doing to add more pause into my life.
- During the summer I will be taking several weeks off from speaking at LifePoint. During this time we will have some great video messages via the One Prayer series as well as have some great teaching from other leaders and servants within LifePoint. During that time of not needing to worry about the always stressful Sunday, I will be praying and focusing on where God is leading LifePoint and myself.
- Until that time of extended pause I will be taking time throughout the week to do nothing but pray, reflect and mediate. You might be asking why I don’t do that already? The answer is because I can’t…always. Working a full-time job, leading LifePoint and having a family and friends many times takes every bit of time that I have. For this reason I have to set up seasons to get that regular time of pause in my life.
Well, that is what has been happening in my life over the last few months. I hope something I have written will help you in your own journey…