I have a small confession to make. I have a love-hate relationship with Easter worship. On one side, I am very excited to share the Gospel with more people who perhaps have never been in church. I enjoy the energy that comes with Easter. We proclaim, “Christ is risen!” and the congregation shouts back, “He is risen indeed. Alleluia!” The congregation worships with more energy, and we have more people than any other Sunday. It is a high Sunday! On the other side of the high is a low because there are fewer people and less energy in worship the following Sundays, and all the promises from people to connect or come more often have fallen away. I start to feel the fatigue of the season and see the extra work ahead for the summer. The gap between expectations (vision) and reality gets too great and I find myself with less energy, a desire to do only what I have to do, and a schedule that seems overwhelming.
We all know to keep our eyes on Jesus. To guard our time and make sure there is time for devotion, recreation, and rest. But there are just times when we are not all there even when keeping our boundaries. Perhaps you can relate, or you are thinking I’m nuts. Either way, I encourage you to review and do the following questionnaire. The questionnaire is not perfect, but it will give you a basic insight into your current situation. Answer each of the questions YES or NO.
- I feel overworked.
- My sense of confidence is diminished.
- My trust in church leaders is weak.
- I wonder about my calling as a pastor.
- My life is far too stressful.
- I feel my work is futile.
- I feel isolated and alone.
- My board and I disagree on the vision of the church.
- I feel emotionally empty.
- I am confused about my major role.
- My spouse and family are unhappy.
- I am not working in my area of giftedness.
- My work is too demanding.
- I am insecure in my present position.
- I must prove myself a hard worker.
- My ministry is not satisfying.
- It is difficult for me to say, “No.”
- My dream of success has not happened.
- I can’t meet the needs of my people.
- I would like to leave my church.
If you answer YES to ten or more questions, you are likely facing compassion fatigue or conflict of vision. If that is you, why not talk with someone you trust about your answers?
by: Rev. Jason Scheler, Mission Executive of the LCMS Southern District