GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & The Cure for Burnout, According to Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman: Play More. Apparently, even genius physicists experience burnout. Here’s how one overcame it.

by Jessica Stillman, Inc. Magazine, 5/6/22.

It’s official: Post-pandemic America is incredibly burned out. “According to Google Trends, which since 2004 has collected data on what the world is searching for, queries for ‘burnout’ –from work, life, and school–are at an all-time high in the US,” Quartz recently reported.

In his 1985 book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! physicist and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynmanrecounted his own case of burnoutand explained what worked to cure him (hat tip to Kottke). His prescription is a whole lot more pleasant than a lot of advice you’ll get about rejiggering your work responsibilities or schedule: Play more.

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VOLUNTEERS & What’s the prescription for your church’s role-to-task ratio? #CharlesArn – why your church community has too many tasks & not enough leaders to implement them.

There may be many factors involved in why your church community has too many tasks and not enough leaders to implement them. Dr. Charles Arn dives into this question and offers solutions for how to create a better role-to-task ratio for your congregation. (Excerpted from the Society For Church Consulting’s Church Staffing Summit 2015.)

Video: What’s the prescription for your church’s role-to-task ratio?

by Charles Arn
There may be many factors involved in why your church community has too many tasks and not enough leaders to implement them.

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BURNOUT & You’re Going to Run Into Anxiety and Burnout. Here Are 7 Strategies to Cope With It

By Marcek Schwantes, Inc. Magazine, 3/21/16.

In 2013, author Jessica Bruder documented the emotional and mental brutality that comes with being a founder, in her prolific and shocking Inc. report, The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship. It was a wake-up call for entrepreneurs everywhere.

There is a price to pay for being a founder. For some, anxiety, burnout and depression bring them to their knees. For others, the ultimate price brings them six feet under, as documented by the high-profile suicides in Bruder’s report.

There is an unwanted stigma that comes with being a founder with mental health issues. No entrepreneur leading the way wants to be perceived as incompetent, mentally-ill or “damaged goods.”

So, shame and isolation kicks in, causing many to fly below the radar, preventing themselves from seeking the help they need to cope with their troubles.

This is a serious issue. A study by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco, reported that nearly half — yes, half — of all entrepreneurs surveyed suffered from things like anxiety and depression…

Here are some simple techniques that have worked for me over the years.

What To Do

1. Do not isolate – find community.

Firs off, you have to believe that you are not alone in this, and have everything you need to go into battle — resources, support groups, counselors and coaches, fellow peers, family members, friends…

2. Be totally present with your feelings.

Don’t condemn or deny your feelings — it is how you feel and they are legitimate! After positive reframing to your doomsday scenario, and coming to terms with how you feel, work towards changing how you deal with these emotions before they consume you.

3. Journal to release your emotions.

Cancel that meeting, put the “do not disturb” sign on your door, and journal about your fears and worries. Then process what you wrote, and put an action plan together about how you will cope with those emotions.

4. Accept that some things are beyond your control.

Okay, so you’re the controlling type who thinks the world is accountable to you. STOP! Many times, your worries are a direct result of the fact that you’re not in control of the people, things, and situations in your life or business…

5. Lean on your faith, or something greater than you.

Understanding that you can’t and shouldn’t control everything, and releasing your worries to your Higher Power (or whatever you call your god/God) is the best answer to give you peace, relief, and a sense of freedom. As I once heard, “let go and let God.”

6. Pursue activities that bring you peace.

Get involved in an activity that’s enjoyable; something that will bring you back that bounce in your step. What is it that you love to do? What brings you peace? Hint: Think hobbies or exercise. I often take the lunch hour to swim as it releases endorphins.

7. Practice Mindfulness

A growing body of research in neurosciencesuggest that mindfulness is one of the best-kept secrets for entrepreneurs to deal with anxiety.

You can practice it by intentionally putting the focus on your emotions, accepting in a non-judgmental way whatever thoughts and sensations you’re experiencing in the moment. This Harvard Business Review article shows you some excellent techniques.

Matt Tenney, author of Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom, summarizes it like this:

We train our awareness so that we become less distracted by our own thinking, which allows us to enjoy our lives more, to be more present with people, and to see our world, both inner and outer, with greater clarity.

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TIME MANAGEMENT & The Research Is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Having coached hundreds of churches for 25+ years, I’ve observed a general expectation that everyone works extra hours for the mission. But research consistently shows that overwork undermines the mission! It actually makes you less effective. Read this good article summarizing the research.

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SMALL GROUPS & How to Prevent Burn Out Because of Too Many Group Meetings

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/9/15

Can there be too much of a good thing?  Yes.  I have observed a recurring misstep with small groups is to have too many meetings (with too little spiritual formation).

A student once tendered a very good question saying,

“Dr. Whitesel,  Would you say that it’s necessary for all ‘small groups’ that don’t have a formal meeting time to have one?

For example, we have a team of people who direct traffic. This group could probably be considered a small group, but they don’t have a collective meeting time, because they serve at various services, etc. In your opinion should they have regular meeting times where they all come together?

It seems that if that is the case and people are involved in multiple ministries like this, they could very quickly become overwhelmed with the number of meetings and groups to be a part of.  Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid burnout if people are in multiple groups and need to have collective meetings with their groups regularly?”

Here is my response.

Hello;  Good questions.  The cure for burnout is to not have too many meetings. Thus, you would not want to make groups such as the parking team have to have additional meetings.

But the key is that you want to make them do UP-IN-OUT activities regularly.  UP is worship/word/prayer time.  IN is sharing hearts, supporting one another and prayer requests.  OUT is regular service to others.

Thus, you would require the parking team (at some time, perhaps before the cars arrive) to have an IN and UP time, e.g. perhaps sharing prayer requests and then praying for them and singing a worship song together.

They are already serving others well (the OUT element of small groups) through their parking lot hospitality.

But adding these missing “spiritual formation elements” can revolutionize your team!  That is because in the example the student gave, the small group was not growing in all three areas, but primarily only growing in service OUT.

EMPLOYEES & New Evidence Why Employees Are Burned Out #Forbes

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Research shows that employers think their employees are less stressed and less burned-out, than they actually are. This is a good reminder for leaders, that people are usually not as happy and as motivated as we assume. Look at the three suggestions in this article leaders can undertake to help employees from burning out.”

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