While on vacation in Ohio, I read a story about a man who stepped out in front of a truck on a busy highway and ended his life. At first, I thought, "How could he do that?" But then I sympathized. The man must have been in deep despair.
I can relate to that desperate feeling. For the last year, the best description of myself and my pastorate is burn out.
When you're burned out, every problem is magnified. Your heart is burdened with depression. You want to quit and give up.
Whenever my wife said, "Let's get help," I replied, "It's not that bad," "I can handle it," "It'll eventually pass," or "Leave me alone." But the despair kept lingering.
Finally, my wife gently conned me to visit Pastor Dennis & Billie Henderson at Monday Morning Ministry, near Sherman, Texas. We spent the week relaxing and talking with two seasoned veterans. What we experienced wasn't professional therapy. We heard the Henderson's story and they heard ours. It was just what I needed. In many respects, it was a life saver. I've come home with a renewed sense that God is good. And I come home with a renewed realization of the priority of prayer.
If you're a pastor feeling desperate and burned out, you need to step out of your comfort zone and find someone who will seriously listen to your story. As Dennis says, hundreds of lives are adversely affected when a pastor who leaves the ministry. Call Monday Morning Ministry.
As for me, this burned out flame is slowly coming back to life.