February 16

Written by Bill Grandi on February 16th, 2021

One of the major topics of conversation during the pandemic among pastors, leaders, magazine articles, podcasters, and other talking heads has been the well-being of pastors. It has been all over the spectrum-from depression; to excitement; to innovation; to pressure/stress; to a feeling of inadequacy; to innovation; to dreaming of what was/is/could be; to what could have been; to a bunch of other ideas. But it seemed one topic kept coming up over and over.


The burnout of the leader. The endless demands placed upon the pastor/leader by others and by himself. There was no overt sin involved which could cause it. No, it was simply a pastor or a leader giving too much of himself to the ministry, i.e. shepherding of his people and not taking care of himself. Not necessarily physically, although for some that definitely played a part.

I’m talking spiritual. Burnout comes when an individual gives so much of himself away that he doesn’t take care to feed himself. We neglect us for them. That spells disaster.

We can only take people where we ourselves have gone. We can only teach what we ourselves know or are learning. We can only give someone a drink if we have water to give. We can only offer a meal if we have food to offer.

Take care of yourself first. Cultivate God’s Presence in your life first. Then, and only then, will we have something to offer to someone else.

“Father, I need to refresh myself with You first. Help me to have a renewed fire because of You coming alive in me. Then, and only then, will I have something to give to someone else.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    I think this is good advice in any season, whether or not we are in a pandemic.

    I think the added pressure of striving to maintain expectations of some while also having to change to meet the expectations of others… in some cases those that really shouldn’t have a say to begin with…

    I think it is important to take and evaluation of self at the beginning and the end of each day and determine where things need adjusted.

    Continually hacking away at oneself physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, in an effort to preserve the expectations of others is not sustainable.

    Sometimes expectations need to be changed and managed.

    Praying for you Bill as you continue to stand in the gap and attempt to fill voids where you can. Praying you will also listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit and follow His direction when He tells you step back and let things take their course.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Ryan, your comment was a balm to my soul. To know you are praying me speaks volumes to my heart. I have not hit the burnout stage and was careful to make sure I took time out and away to stay fresh. But it was a temptation to think it wouldn’t happen to me. I had to guard against that. Your other comments are right on the money as well. Evaluating is so important and keeps one fresh. Thanks for your comment but most of all for your prayers.

  2. Ed says:

    Burnout can happen in any occupation. Moses’ Father in Law realized this and instructed him to appoint leaders under him. Wise move!
    While I’ve never been in a pastoral situation I do remember when I used to work two jobs at the same time. That didn’t last long. You can stretch yourself too long!

  3. No matter what role we play in this life, if we don’t seek to strengthen our spiritual lives, we will all suffer from burnout. Praying for you, Bill!