Being Honest- or How Did I Get Here?

I was watching the Alice in Wonderland last night  and I felt a connection with her bewilderment in the wonderland and my whole burnout deal I have gone through.  I felt like I accidently fell into a rabbit hole and was wondering how I got down here in this burning hole.  The good news is I found God there, and not the Mad Hatter.

So, how did I get here?  One day in September it seemed like all the emotions and tensions hit a breaking point, and I felt like I just couldn’t handle it anymore.  That day I stopped by and had a long talk with Don.  He was great and an incredible listening ear for me.  I’m so glad God had him available at that moment. 

Looking back though I realize that this didn’t come about all at once.  It had been building for quite awhile.  What’s interesting is in a lot of the literature I’ve read on the subject is they find one of the burnout causes is a lack of spiritual disciplines.  I’ve been doing that pretty well.  I study my Bible and pray daily.  I will go and have a day of prayer for our church.  I never felt distant from God.

So what caused it?  How did I end up here?  I believe I had been operating under false paradigm of ministry for many years.  Unfortunately the nature of ministry leads to this paradigm feeling like it’s true.  Early on I perceived that as a minister people in the church are not really concerned about the minister as a person.  They are concerned for the minister and his role in their life.  So, as a people caregiver, I would merely direct the conversations about themselves.  A great conversationalist gets people to talk about themselves right? Now, I know I can talk a lot (every minister can), but most of the time that’s just telling a story.  It’s not sharing about my wants or concerns on a personal level.  I believed there is no need to share them anyway.

This is a tough role to figure out as a minister because you can share too much and then people are turned off from you.  On the other hand, a minister is a person and he needs God’s body to minister to him too.  In fact, I have shared in the past at other churches a time or two about struggles I have dealt with.  The result was a friendship that became estranged and the other was just met with silence.

I have come to believe one reason I fell into burnout is I operated with this false belief system concerning the ministry.  Because I am a minister I cannot depend on people in the church to care for me.  God said “No more of the myth!”  There is something inherently wrong with that idea!

So now I need a new paradigm to operate in, and I don’t have one yet, except to say, I’m going to let the Holy Spirit lead me.  I plan on being the kite and Him being the wind.

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One thought on “Being Honest- or How Did I Get Here?

  1. I love the honesty of this blog. I get that struggle, and have to say, that God is also telling me that I must share more of what I am feeling, thinking/ struggling with my sisters in Christ. I am not a full time paid minister, but when we were on the mission field, I too lived under this myth…..I have to say it is not easy to open yourself up to those that you minister to….even a select few…….I will be praying for you Kirk that God will confirm to you through the exact right person what He is desiring you to do in allowing the body to be the body to you as well…..thank you for your honesty and insight…it is powerful….just by blogging this is an incredible thing….

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