What Burned Out Sunday School Leaders Need To Know

Everyone can get the feeling of being “burned out” now and then.

Burnout is essentially a feeling of exhaustion and lack of interest in your normal routine or occupation.

It’s not a disease, but it can take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically! Unfortunately, when it comes to teaching Sunday School, burnout can cause you to give less than your best.

Signs of Sunday School Burnout

Could you be experiencing burnout? Perhaps you’re showing one of these signs:

1. Feeling tired.

You barely have enough energy to pull yourself out of bed on Sunday morning, and are exhausted after class is over.

2. Feeling unmotivated. You forget why you’re even teaching in the first place, and don’t find it worthwhile.

3. Feeling pessimistic, frustrated, and generally negative. You tend to think the worst of your students, and often take our your frustration on them.

4. Finding it difficult to concentrate. You become forgetful, and can’t hold your train of thought while teaching or planning.

How to Beat Burnout

The good news is that there ARE ways to get rid of burnout and get back to your regular, enthusiastic self. Here’s what to do:

1. Get enough sleep.

Make sure you don’t take on so much ministry work that you’re forced to stay up late often just to get things done. To avoid this, delegate tasks to Sunday School helpers so that you don’t shoulder the burden yourself. The exact number of hours that you need may vary, but everybody needs sufficient sleep to be able to function and feel good!

2. Get organized.

If you spend a lot of time panicking over what to teach on Sunday, why not get organized and plan lessons ahead of time? Better yet, get a good Sunday School curriculum so that you can spend less time planning, and more time on actually reading the lessons and preparing yourself to teach them.

3. Get motivated.

Have you been spending enough time with Jesus lately? Your enthusiasm for teaching will definitely dwindle over time, unless you’re getting your daily dose of God’s joy. Spending quality time with the Author of joy will help you remember why He created you, and why He has allowed you to serve Him in Sunday School. You’ll be reminded how important it is to share God’s Word with others, and what a privilege it is to take part in molding young lives!

4. Get help!

This is an extremely important step, because God didn’t create us to live and serve Him on our own. The reason why we’re part of a church is to edify one another. Ephesians 4:12 puts it this way: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (NIV) Your pastor is there to help. Speak with him or another godly member of your church that you trust. Not only can that person give you advice, but he or she can pray for you and help keep you accountable so that you don’t slip back into burnout again!

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