“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” Matthew 11:28 (The Message Bible)
Today I’m preparing for a retreat I’m presenting to the annual Illinois United of Church of Christ Support Staff Retreat in Chicago. I applaud the Church of Christ for caring for the spiritual enhancement of those who work behind the scenes in the church office by offering them this opportunity.
My theme for Friday’s session is “And, Who Takes Care of You?” We worry about our pastors–that they are overworked, underpaid, etc., but church support staff may be feeling the same way. One pastor (unidentified) said, “There are just too many people to care for. It’s just too much. I’m spread too thin and there is not enough caring to go around. Every day I pray to god for an abundant supply of his love to give to others, but it’s as if the pipe isn’t large enough for it to flow through.” Do you feel that way, also?
Burnout is near when the “gas” is gone; the barrel is empty; the muscle of a loving heart goes weak and limp; no longer able to pump life-giving care and love to the rest of the needy people; the rhythm of the love-beat becomes erratic and irregular; and short bursts of compassion cease at the most inopportune times.
Dear Church Secretaries, I pray this is not happening to you because you do not sense the need to be refilled spiritually, which in turn will keep the body and mind ready to serve God!
Dear God, please give everyone who serves you the sense that they need to serve themselves too. Amen.