Previously, I posted on “13 Signs of Leadership Fatigue.” Several readers asked me to write a follow up post about ways to deal with these signs. Maybe these suggestions will help you move past leadership fatigue.

1. Living by a “get me through the day” philosophy – You may begin the day with prayer, but surviving the day is your prayer theme.

  • Ask God each day to help you see glimpses of His work like an answered prayer or a restored relationship.
  • Actually watch for those glimpses. Trust that God will show you

2. Losing vision – Fatigued leaders don’t consider vision beyond the end of this workday. 

  • While not ignoring the “big picture,” strengthen your vision for one area of the church about which you are passionate.
  • Talk to local leaders about needs in your community. Your vision will expand when you see again the world outside your church.

3. Developing poor sleep patterns – The patterns may vary, but in any case, you’re exhausted. 

  • Read scriptures that address resting in God (e.g., Psa. 4:8, Prov. 3:24), and let the Word of God bring you comfort.
  • If the patterns persist, consider talking to your physician – just in case some other underlying cause is present.

4. Declining spiritual disciplines –Weariness leaves little room for anything like Bible study and prayer that requires “discipline.”

  • Reading one more verse a day or praying one more minute each day is positive. So, do that – read a little more, and pray a little longer each day.
  • Take a brief retreat from the needs of the people around you (Luke 5:15-16). It’s not only okay to get away from people to be with God; it’s necessary.

5. Repeating lessons and sermons – Finding something in the file is much less draining than the hard work of praying about and developing a sermon or lesson.

  • Invite a guest speaker for a week. That guest might have something to say to you while you rest.
  • Teach through a shorter book of the Bible. Its brevity will help you stay focused, and the intentionality of study will revive you.

6. Faking joy and excitement – Few actions are more exhausting than pretending to have joy you don’t have.

  • Bear your soul before God. He won’t be surprised by your thoughts.
  • Do something in your ministry that really does excite you. If it’s taking a church member to a ball game, do it. If it’s sitting in the woods and praying, do that.

7. Frustrating family members – Leaders who fight to get through the day often dump on their family when they get home.

  • Don’t talk about work for the first two hours at home. Spend that time focusing on your family.
  • Give your spouse permission to say, “Honey, you’re dumping too much on me” – and then stop.

8. Magnifying minors – What seemed insignificant last month is unexpectedly huge when we’re tired. 

  • It might sound silly, but count to ten (or 100, if needed) or take a walk before determining what’s really important.
  • Ask yourself, “Will this issue really matter a year from now?” If not, file it under “Not as important as I thought.”

9. Failing to return emails and phone calls – Weary leaders tend to delay responding to others, if they choose to respond at all. 

  • Calendar a daily time to return communications (preferably no more than one hour).
  • Handle the most stressful stuff first. Get it out of the way, using your time wisely because other emails and phone calls wait.

10. Misdirecting affections – When nothing they do brings joy, fatigued leaders sometimes turn to others for affirmation.

  • Go back to #7 above, and reinvest your time in your family.
  • Talk to yourself throughout the day: “I’m really stupid if I do this . . . ,” and RUN from temptation.

11. Decreasing exercise – Professional and emotional fatigue quickly lead to physical tiredness. Exercise becomes that much more difficult.

  • Take 10-minute walks throughout the day. Get out of your office.
  • Find a workout partner to hold you accountable to increasing your exercise.

12. Focusing on a “grass is greener” syndrome –Every other role, it seems, is suddenly better than our current one. 

  • Force yourself to make a list of God’s blessings in your current ministry.
  • If you can’t create that list, ask someone in the church to help you. I suspect others see God’s hand where you may not. Give thanks in all things.

13. Avoiding people who speak truth – When we know we’re tired of leading, it’s just easier to avoid people who know us well enough to recognize the problem.  

  • Don’t avoid those persons; invite them to lunch. Sharing your burden will be good for you.
  • Choose to listen more than complain.


What other suggestions do you have?

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