Recognizing Four Signs of Burnout

Youth Ministry is one of the greatest jobs in the world. Those of us who are called to work in this way, feel incredibly blessed to do it. However, burnout can occur pretty quickly if we don’t take care of ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically.

You start to view your job as “work”

Yes, we have one of the best jobs out there, but when we’re heading towards burnout, we may end up viewing youth ministry as “work”. And yes, technically it is our work, but once we begin to not enjoy our ministry, we are heading in the wrong direction. Yes, there are times when we don’t enjoy our ministry, but this is a different type of agony. If we’re going into work everyday, and dreading it, we may be heading towards burnout.

You don’t have any healthy boundaries

The first rule of thumb that my mentor gave me, was to keep healthy boundaries. While our work is meaningful and requires relationship making, we do need to keep some things just for us. If we’re not taking time to rest and reset, we may be heading towards burnout.

You haven’t taken a break

In addition to boundaries, if you haven’t taken a break, a retreat, a vacation, you may begin to move towards burnout.

If you’re not making self care a priority, your physical health, mental health, and spiritual health may start to take a downward turn. Click To Tweet This could be a sign of burnout.

You’ve lost sense of the Mission

A missionary spirit is at the heart of ministry. Often times, when we are heading towards burnout, we lose sense of this mission. In any ministry, we need to keep our mission at the heart of why we do, what we do. When we lose this, we lose our base. Our ministry becomes just a youth club, and our purpose becomes misconstrued. If we don’t have a sense of our mission to bring young people into relationship with Jesus Christ, we may be moving towards burnout.

Burnout is all too common among ministry leaders, especially in youth ministry. Self care and prayer is so important to our mission as youth ministers. Recognizing some signs of burnout will help us to better discern what our place in ministry is, and to help fix our spiritual, mental, and physical health.

Mary Mullan

Mary is a youth minister on Long Island, a former missionary with the Capuchin Franciscans, a graduate student at Fordham, and a soon to be wife to her college sweetheart. Mary's love for youth ministry began way back when at her confirmation, and has journeyed as a participant, weekly volunteer, missionary, and now as a now parish youth minister. Follow along with her @marybridget_

Questions or Comments?

Join the conversation about Recognizing Four Signs of Burnout over in our Facebook group. GO THERE NOW