Burnout and Self-Care for Church Leaders

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Burnout in church leaders is usually multi-dimensional. It may be the result of weakened theological purpose, poor self-care, digression away from God’s call for one’s life, lack of adequate support systems, etc. But it is most often due to a combination of factors. This index points to several ministry resources on the range of subjects that may help as church leaders face burnout. Click the links below for suggested books and tools.

Ministry Burnout, Preventing and Overcoming – Includes classic resources by Hiltner and Willimon, along with several newer volumes that address the factors contributing to ministry burnout, and how to equip oneself for a vibrant, effective, long-term ministry.

Minister Self-Care – Covers the spiritual, theological, and physical dimensions of burnout, including special tools for leaders of small churches. Also includes family resources, sabbatical guides, and help for navigating life transitions.

Ministry Support Systems – Describes resources to help build both congregational and collegial support systems for ministers.

Pastoral Theology – Acknowledges the importance of theological revival in overcoming burnout. Includes both classic and contemporary authors who elevate the witness of scripture on the nature of ministry. Similar to the guide on Strengthening and Renewing the Ministry Call below, except these are theologies in the technical sense. Highlights authors such as Anderson, Bonhoeffer, Peterson, Purves, and Nouwen.

Strengthening and Renewing the Ministry Call – Helps ministers recover their faith and hope in the value of ministry, the place of the church in God’s economy, and the importance of perseverance in the face of difficulty. Similar to Pastoral Theology listed above, but not all fit in the theological category. Features authors such as Niebuhr and Yancey

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