5 Ways to Combat Ministry Burnout

Bible study at a Catholic Church

Working at a parish is not easy. Over time you and your staff may become weary and discouraged. Research has shown that as much as 50 percent of all clergy are discouraged enough to want to leave at some point in their careers. While this is a troubling number, it’s important to remember that everyone feels this way at some point. Catholics have faced hardships throughout time, but that doesn’t mean giving up is the answer. Remember, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Sometimes you just have to push forward and keep working, but other times it can be smart to seek out new techniques to help make the important work your ministry does a bit easier.

Here are five ways to help ease the workload and prevent or eliminate ministry burnout:

Delegate tasks to others
Parish ministry leaders are often in charge of too many different tasks and programs. The weight of that responsibility can be detrimental to their morale. If you are a priest or a member of clergy, make sure to delegate tasks when possible. That will not only help ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed, but it will keep your ministry functioning at the highest level of efficiency.

It can also be beneficial for parish staff and volunteers to create a team responsible for caring for ministry leaders. Some ministry leaders don’t want to burden others with their problems, but when a team is organized for the specific purpose of helping those same individuals they are more likely to delegate tasks to others.

Seek help when needed
Asking for assistance is different from delegating tasks. Sometimes it’s not that a person has too much work to do, he or she just needs help executing the work.  Failure can lead to discouragement and depression, so it’s important to make sure that people in your ministry aren’t unsuccessful. Create a work environment where people are consistently reaching out to one another to get things done. Not only will this help ensure success, it will probably increase the rate at which it is achieved. This also builds strong bonds among parishioners and parish staff that can lead to increased involvement and passionate workmanship.

Make sure people’s lives are balanced
While ministry work is of extreme importance, parish staff need to have a personal life as well. Just like in the business world, a balance between work and the rest of a person’s life is needed. Too much of either one can lead to unhappiness.

Utilize new management tools
Efficiency is key for many parishes because there is always so much to do. Parishes have to create and manage programs, fundraising events, volunteers and much more. A good software solution will help make the management side of things much easier. ParishSOFT has Family Directory, Offering and Pledges, Online Giving, Religious Education, ParishCast, and Accounting web-based software  to streamline workflows among your parish staff and volunteers.

Our secure and easily assessable software solutions can help ward off burnout and discouragement by making things more efficient and providing parish staff and volunteers more time for other things, such as family and friends.

Try to see the humor in things
When faced with a challenging situation, sometimes all you can do is laugh. Being able to laugh things off is a skill that will help you stay positive. It can also keep you from taking things too seriously. If you have a grave demeanor all of the time, you’ll likely become cynical, which is never a good thing. Remember to stop for a moment and calm your mind and heart and ask for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance, but a good laugh or two once in a while sure doesn’t hurt either.

ParishSOFT has the software your parish and diocese needs to streamline workflows and help you spread the Gospel with others. To discuss how our web-based software can assist your organization, please contact our Sales department at 866-930-4774 x6.

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