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4 Moves That Guard Against Burnout by Steve Sjogren

Burnout is a regular problem with anyone who reaches out. Jesus was in nearly continual outreach mode in his three-year ministry so he found it necessary to take on a number of mindsets in order to live with spiritual centeredness. Here are a few of Jesus’ points of view you might find encouraging.

Define for your assignment.
Invite God to clarify the specifics of your calling. Listen in. Take notes. God tends to speak the most clearly to me in two settings – as I wake up and as I drive. A friend suggested someone drive me around and I take short naps throughout the day in order to hear from the Lord a lot. Maybe we can try that sometime. Figure out what your primo setting is and reproduce that as often as you can. God is more interested in speaking to you than you are in hearing from him.

Focus on the outcome.
It’s easy to grow frustrated with the burdens and details of the present. We frequently hear encouragement as to the importance of aiming on the immediate only. When it comes to outreach it’s not that way. There are times when it is best to look ahead. Scripture says that Jesus endured hardship for the joy that was set before him. We are wise to follow his lead.

Flow…Give Up On Struggling
One of the most frustrating assignments in the world is the sense that we are responsible to create a spiritual result. We are incapable of making something happen in the spiritual realm – that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our role, like Paul’s, is to plant and water what God has already begun in others’ lives. Walk in sensitivity to what God is up to. It’s usually not all that difficult to see what he’s up to. Go where the joy, the passion, the energy is. It is exciting to be in the midst of where the Spirit is at work. Find that sweet spot and live there.

Be unique.
Look for the specifics God has for you whether you’ve seen anyone else walk there or not. Perhaps there are new approaches to ministry God has in mind for you to carry out that no one else is doing. Be bold! You may think you need permission to step out. In many cases that’s not the case. You’d be surprised how often those you think you need to clear things with will be overjoyed when you simply try something new then show them the results afterwards. Nearly always you’ll receive a standing ovation!

Steve is the head of ServeCoach(.com) and is considered the “father of servant evangelism” as he pioneered that then-unique approach to outreach while leading the Vineyard Church of Cincinnati. He has coached dozens of church plants from a wide array of denominational backgrounds. He and his wife Janie have planted 5 churches in the U.S. and Europe. His book Conspiracy of Kindness is considered by many to be a primer in outreach for skeptical settings.

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