How Can We Serve the Church Without Burning Out?

How can we serve the church without burning out?
 

Justin Kim     |     APRIL 16, 2019     |    2 MIN READ     |    3 MIN WATCH

Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.


Most people in the church know that serving is important for their own benefit. It’s something that God calls us to do. But I think we burn out so quickly because I don't think we're doing enough to do what I would call “soul care self care”.

A friend of mine gave me some great insight into this. He said there are four categories that monitor (us) like a car dashboard. If a red light goes on, you know that something is not good.

These four areas are the physical, emotional, social, and the spiritual categories of your heart. If you monitor these well and try to find a good rhythm and pace within these areas, you can really run hard and have good ministry balance in your life.

For physical: I think people burn out because they are not exercising enough and not getting enough proper sleep. These are things that are important because we're human beings. So if you’re often tired, I think you're more susceptible to running hard and being burned out.

Emotional: There are things that may be weighing you down. It’s hard to serve well while you're emotionally unhealthy. I recommend anything written by Peter Scazzero. Right now I'm going through Emotionally Healthy Leader with my staff, and all of us are saying we're not emotionally healthy and we're all running hard and serving our church as faithfully as we can. So I think there's a lot that Peter Scazzero can offer as well as (learning to ) have a high emotional IQ.

The social aspect involves the area of friendship. You need some good community. You need people that can encourage you and be Barnabas to you.

The ministry that God does in you is more important than the ministry that God does through you.

The last thing is obviously is spiritual. The ministry that God does in you is more important than the ministry that God does through you. That was what one of my mentors said to me again and again. Justin, you can't do ministry well if you're not focused on first your devotional life and spiritual life. It’s the outflow of your times for the Lord, where you're spiritually in a good place. Then you can do ministry well to other people. It’s the vertical that’s really the priority, and the horizontal comes later on.


Justin Kim serves as the senior pastor of Bethel English Church in Irvine, CA. He is happily married to Virginia and father to Tabitha, Barnabas, and Maximus. Prior to BEC, he has been an active minister of the Word on both American coasts. He has a deep love for the Gospel and for missions. Besides church, he loves to go on a food adventure around California. He attended James Madison University and has a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. He is ordained under the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Justin serves as the Director of Leadership Development of SOLA Network.