Insightful Words on Burnout


This morning, in my daily office reading, was an insightful quote by Parker Palmer about burnout. I am sure that many of you have, at one point or another, experienced burnout. I have always considered burnout simply me giving TOO MUCH but Palmer turns this on end by showing burnout to not be giving too much of ourselves but giving of ourselves from a STATE OF EMPTINESS.  He says it is giving what we do not possess.  We think we are giving a great GIFT but in reality it is a DANGEROUS and LOVELESS act of proving ourselves.  And in turn it is giving TOO LITTLE.

Can you relate?

From Peter Scazzero’s Daily Office reading —

“When I give something I do not possess, I give a false and dangerous gift, a gift that looks like love but is, in reality, loveless — a gift given more from my need to prove myself than from the other’s need to be cared for. . . . One sign that I am violating my own nature in the name of nobility is a condition called burnout. Though usually regarded as the result of trying to give too much, burnout in my experience results from trying to give what I do not possess — the ultimate in giving too little! Burnout is a state of emptiness, to be sure, but it does not result from giving all I have; it merely reveals the nothingness from which I was trying to give in the first place.” — Parker Palmer

Question to Consider:  What would it look like for you to respect yourself in light of your God-given human limits?

Prayer Jesus, you know my tendency to say yes to more commitments than I can possibly keep. Help me to embrace the gift of my limits physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And may you, Lord Jesus, be glorified in and through me today. In your name, amen.

Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day (p. 50). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.


8 Things to Consider for a Sabbatical


I took a sabbatical in 2016.  It was a time of retooling, self-realization, and revitalization. These were 8 things that guided my sabbatical rest.

8 Things to consider for your sabbatical!

1) Ask for, at least, a 3 month sabbatical – study leave at end– Reassure your leadership of your motivations for rest, recovery and return.  I would encourage you to then tack on a study leave at the end so that you can do your yearly planning.  I think it is really good to step away from church stuff, as much as you can, during your sabbatical. 
2) Consider some basic marriage counseling. Always good. My wife and I did this before, after and once during the sabbatical to help us think through how to rest and how to grow in this time together.
3) Do a few personality profiles. * if you have already done them… review them.  Self-work and self-understanding is so good for you in this time.
1) Strengths Finder.  
2) Myers-Briggs 
3) and my favorite – Enneagram (EnneaApp by Hearthstone Counseling Inc ) ——with the Enneagram there is a fantastic podcast called Typology 
Note: the first 2 personality profiles (Strengths Finder and Myers-Briggs) are behavior based. And the last one (Enneagram) is motivations based. 
4) Read books for your emotional and spiritual health:  Here are my suggestions.
(Learning to RestSabbath by Dan Allender (Sabbath: The Ancient Practices 
(Learning compassion again… I needed thatTattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle (Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion 
(Great book on helping you with limitsEssentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less. By Greg Mckeown
(Dave Kraft was my coach and worked in some tough and toxic environmentsLeaders that Last by Dave Kraft 
(Great book on brokness / transparency and leadership) From Weakness to Strength: 8 Vulnerabilities That Can Bring Out the Best in Your Leadership (PastorServe Series) 
5) Journal.  Write about your readings.  Write out your devotionals. Write your feelings. Write your growth points.  
6) Sleep in!!!!!  Definitely sleep in. It will take a few weeks to let the spring uncoil but when it starts – it’s epic. 
7) Get away with family. Find a mountain house, lake house or beach house to stay there for a month of your rest.  
8) Lastly but not least-  I did not do this but highly suggest for those considering a sabbatical. Apply for the the Lilly Grant. It’s a 50k grant. . Click Here.  [Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs seek to strengthen congregations by helping their pastors to take time away from day-to-day ministry to restore their commitment to ministry. Launched in 1999 with a program for congregations and their pastors in Indiana, this annual effort was expanded in 2000 to include a second program for clergy across the United States. These programs are made possible by a grant to Christian Theological Seminary and its Center for Pastoral Excellence, which administers the program. LEARN MORE]