Preventing Burnout in Bivocational Ministry

For eleven years Craig and I were pastoring a church in Round Mountain, NV while raising 3 daughters. At the same time, Craig was working full-time as a sheriff's deputy and we owned and operated a gas station/deli. Many of you know how this sort of bi-vocational ministry feels, especially if you pastor in a rural town. Here are 5 simple, yet profound life principles we found that became imperative for us to live by and to be successful in our multiple responsibilities:

1. Build up a team.

You cannot possibly do it all yourself. Empower those around you to help carry the load. You will have to let go and trust that God has put people around you for that purpose.

2. Believe you have what it takes.

Carried within you is a unique compilation of anointings, giftings, and spiritual resources. You carry the Kingdom of God inside of you, and it is powerful!

3. Understand your limits.

You cannot give 100 percent to ministry and 100 percent to the job and 100 percent to your family. God factored into the equation the demands of bi-vocational ministry when he called you. Give yourself a break.

4. Set healthy boundaries.

These are key to prevent burnout and increase your chance of success. Scheduling time on your calendar for yourself, your spouse, and your kids is priority. Fill in the rest of your time for those you minister to.

5. Keep your own spiritual tank full.

All ministry should happen from overflow. It does not take a lot of time to get filled up, just intentionality. Find creative ways to connect to the Lord. Some ideas are: audio bible, audio books, worship music playing while driving or getting ready in the morning, and watching Youtube videos from powerful speakers. Fill yourself up first, then pour out.


Contributors: Craig and Cyndi Barber

2014 Pastors Conference Speakers.
Long-term friends of Steve and Wendy.
Craig is currently head of security at Bethel Church and Cyndi works in the Sozo department.
They pastored for 11 years in Round Mountain, NV.
Craig recently published the book, My Finest Battle.