Burnout, also known as professional exhaustion syndrome, is a response that a worker gives when they perceive the difference between their own ideals and the reality of their work life. This can happen in any work environment, including Christian ministry work, where the demands of serving others and striving to fulfill God’s calling can lead to stress.


While the causes of burnout vary from person to person, there are several common sources of stress in a church environment that can lead to burnout, including:

  • High Workload: Church staff are often required to handle a high workload, with many responsibilities and tasks to fulfill. They may have to work long hours or have little time off, which can lead to exhaustion and burnout.
  • Role Confusion: Ministry staff may experience role confusion if their role is not clearly defined, or if they are expected to take on multiple roles within the church. This can lead to stress and burnout, as they struggle to juggle their responsibilities.
  • Physical and Emotional Demands: Ministry work can be physically and emotionally demanding, particularly for those in pastoral jobs. They may have to provide emotional support and counseling to members of the congregation, which can be draining and lead to burnout.
  • Poor Working Conditions: Poor working conditions, such as a lack of resources, inadequate facilities, or a toxic work environment, can also contribute to burnout.
  • Difficulty Balancing Work and Personal Life: Ministry staff may find it difficult to balance their work and personal life, particularly if they feel that they are always “on call” and unable to switch off from their church responsibilities.


Burnout can have a significant impact leading to:

  • Decreased Performance

    Burnout can lead to a decrease in performance, with people struggling to meet their responsibilities and perform their duties to the best of their ability.
  • Poor Relationships with Colleagues and Congregants

    Staff members experiencing burnout may struggle to build and maintain positive relationships with colleagues and congregants, leading to conflict and tension within the church.
  • Health Problems

    Prolonged stress and burnout can have negative effects on physical and mental health, leading to an increased risk of illnesses such as heart disease, depression, and anxiety.
  • High Turnover Rates

    Burnout can lead to high turnover rates in church staffing, as staff members may become disillusioned with their work and decide to leave their position or even leave ministry altogether.

If you are experiencing burnout in your current ministry job, it is important to take steps to care for your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
One of these steps may be to look for a new job that allows you to exercise your ministry in a healthier and more balanced way.

At ONE39, you can find a wide variety of job openings in ministry, from leadership positions in the church to jobs in non-profit organizations and missions. Visit our website and start searching for your next ministry job today.

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