The Way to Avoid Burnout Is to Burn Out

You often hear people say we need to live in moderation or that what’s most important is to have a balanced lifestyle. They’ll tell you the goal is to get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat good, organic food.

If you’re in ministry, you are always told to have boundaries so you won’t get burned out.
David Pierce

David Pierce is the founder of Steiger International and the band No Longer Music. He is also the author of "Rock Priest" and "Revolutionary".
Instagram: @therockpriest
Twitter: @TheRockPriest

Website: www.steiger.org/davidpierce


I am not against sleep, exercise and good, organic food, and boundaries aren’t necessarily bad. If it were up to me, I would get lots of sleep. I love to exercise with my wife, Jodi, and if it were possible (and I could afford it), I would only eat fresh sushi and drink green smoothies.   
 
But it does seem that even with all these safeguards, more and more people are burning out. In Germany, even pets can get burned out, and they go on pet spa retreats to avoid becoming too stressed. In the United States, they have pet therapists. (Off topic I know, but that’s crazy!)

Nowhere in Jesus’ teaching does He remotely suggest balance or boundaries. Even Jesus said He often didn’t even have a place to sleep. Paul talked at length about his hardships and trials.

When Jesus tells us how to pray, He gives the illustration of someone demanding bread at a neighbor's house at midnight. That we should cry out to God with an attitude of shameless persistence. Not exactly balanced (Luke 11:5-8).

In Acts 4:29, when the early Church was receiving death threats, they prayed under the power of the Holy Spirit:  “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”  Again this was not even close to the safe option, let alone the balanced one.

Then Jesus makes the most extreme statement any religious figure has ever made in Matthew 16: 24 -25: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their Cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”  

Jesus tells me that I gain life when I lose it for the sake of the Gospel. That I experience my purpose when I take up the Cross. That I find the extraordinary life I was created for when I deny myself and kill my dreams and ask God for His.

People think working too hard, or not sleeping enough causes burn out, when in reality it's caused by living without challenge, meaning, or purpose. We fail when we try to operate apart from God’s power and live in our own strength. Going the distance and thriving comes from depending on God for strength, guidance, and wisdom, and realizing that we can’t do it alone.

Once we understand this, following Jesus is anything but balanced. It will test your limits, stretch your faith, and require courage, but following Jesus in this way is where I find true purpose, real joy, and the mission I was put on this earth to live.

When you are an authentic Christian, you will not always get enough sleep, have a forty hour work week, and all public holidays off. Sometimes you will have to eat the food that’s put in front of you and be grateful that you have food to eat at all. Maybe your life will be short and you won’t die an old man on the golf course.

But you will have a rich life of significance and you will be someone God can use to change the world. Your life will not be a life of regret. Like Neil Young said, “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.”

Related items

  • Sorry, We’re Not Coming to Your “Cool Church Night”
    For much of American history, being a Christian aligned you with the prevailing mindset of the day and made you respectable in the eyes of culture. The local church was the place to do business, socialize, and find a spouse. In short, it was very beneficial to belong.

    This is not saying that everyone’s faith was sincere – it just meant going with the stream rather than against it.

    But the river has since changed course.
  • Episode 138: So the World Is on Fire, Why Should I Care?

    You’ve probably heard many people quote Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” And speak on how we need more workers to go into the harvest. But why is that? Why are we not seeing more workers? The regulars try to answer these questions and also discuss why many people start out in ministry or missions but don’t seem to last. 

    Of course there is a David's Random Story and this time David shares what happened when No Longer Music performed a slightly controversial song at a Christian college in Minneapolis…

  • Episode 137: Are New Year’s Resolutions an Annual Excuse for Self Focus?

    The new year has arrived, and with it, people’s new year’s goals and resolutions. Is there any benefit to creating a new years resolution? Or is it just an excuse for self focus? The regulars discuss this topic and share their personal experiences in the matter. They also look at a recent NAS Daily video about morality and the idea that there is no right or wrong. How do we react as christians when people say there are no absolute truths? What kind of conversations should we be having to help expose the lies of moral relativism? 

    All of that and more in this new episode of the P&I podcast! 

  • Episode 136: We Are Only Visiting This Planet

    In this special episode of the P&I podcast, we play a message that David gave at Grace Church in Minneapolis, called “We Are Only Visiting This Planet”. David speaks on the importance of having an eternal perspective and how that should impact the way we live our lives. 

    Thank you so much for all the support you’ve given us in 2018, we’re excited to be creating new content in 2019 and seeing where God leads us!

  • Episode 135: Having a form of Godliness but denying its power. Bogota Road Report!

    No Longer Music just finished their tour in Colombia, where they have seen people experiencing God’s power, being physically healed and receiving Jesus in their lives. Ben and David share some stories of all that God has been doing and look at the importance of healings, signs, wonders and miracles, when preaching the Gospel and leading people to Jesus.

    David also shares of the interesting bond between a cat and a monkey in his Random Story.

Come&Live!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Country
Please wait