Dear Burnout Pastor,

You are not a failure. You are not perfect. You are tired.

So many church leaders like you find themselves battling pastoral burnout that it’s no wonder the pastoral tenure continues to shrink. You are broken inside–not a failure.

You wonder how you can get it all done. Deacon David and Superstar Sunday School Sally always find another painful flaw to point out.

It feels like you’ve signed over the rest of your life to this church. After all, your current to do list would take the rest of your life to complete.

We are proud of you. No matter what mistakes you’ve made. No matter how bludgeoned you are on a weekly basis. God created you in His image. You are a beloved child of His that Jesus died and rose to save.

strategy saturday pastoral burnout

You don’t have an indefinite amount of years. In fact, your years and days are numbered. That’s why we created 3 intentional steps to avoid pastoral burnout:

1) Design Intentionally

You’re probably so busy that it’s pretty hard to imagine intentionality. You are in maintenance mode. Leaders experiencing pastoral burnout routinely report “survival mode.” You will always stay in maintenance mode unless you embrace intentional design.

Our team breathes life into your ministry. We help you evaluate your current context and analyze your ministry. We coach you in setting-up a team to help you transition from maintenance mode to missional and strategic. They will get their hands all over the process.

We come in monthly to your church to facilitate organizational change. Getting intentional is going to involve work, but nowhere near as much as you would have with a “figure it out” or “we’ve always done it that way” approach.

[Get Dr. Aubrey Malphurs’ 16 Church Assessment Questions with your Free Subscription to Leadership Link]

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2) Delegate Authority (to Reduce Pastoral Burnout)

Today I heard a message at #Verge13 where the speaker said, “You don’t delegate, because you are afraid.” Is that you? Think about it….seriously. I mean, STOP! Identify what you are afraid of.

These fears block pastors from delegating:
– Fear of rejection – Are you scared people won’t do what you ask? More difficult still…are you more scared of people rejecting you? Or God’s rebuke for your willful robbery of their opportunity to serve as God designed them?

– Fear of getting surpassed – Doing it all can create job security (although unhealthy). Equipping others to go farther, (even farther than you) incarnates the teachings of Ephesians 4 to equip the saints.

– Fear of not being needed – If your primary motivation for not delegating is job security, then you are sinning. You sin when you hold onto things and don’t take risks on your people that God made in His image.

3) Disciple Others

You can do all the ministry you want, but if you aren’t making disciples you’ve lost touch with mission of the Savior. Can you tell me who specifically you are discipling and who other leaders in your church are discipling? If not, why not? We often see a connection (not always) between pastoral burnout and a lack of discipleship.

Yeah…that’s a tough one. What is holding you back? Have you gotten yourself consumed in the maintenance of the church and lost sight of its mission (to make disciples)?

It starts with you.

The issue isn’t “caught or taught.” It is modeled and missional.

What’s the best first step? Admit your current situation, then initiate discipling relationships. There is no greater responsibility you have as a pastor…to model making disciples.

We help you to create a reproducible process that you can model and then enjoy seeing other people model in their own lives.

Design intentionally. Delegate authority. Disciple Others.


Brad Bridges is the Vice President of the Malphurs Group, a leadership coach, strategy consultant, blogger at bradbridges.net, husband to Lindsey, and father of 3. | @bradbridges | Website