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May 22nd, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

18 comments (+ Add)

Major Disruptions

Some people are simply stuck.

  • A pastor I talked to recently told me he’s been on the verge of burnout for years.
  • A close friend has been struggling in his marriage for almost a decade.
  • Some ministries seem stuck in time.

If a small change or disruption would make the difference, you would have made the change a long time ago. Maybe you need to make a big change.

When I finally admitted that I was constantly overwhelmed with ministry, a trusted advisor told me, “A few days off here and there won’t change your problem. If you were going to overcome this challenge, you would have done it a long time ago. You need to get some help.”

That’s what I did. I’ve made major changes.

Maybe that’s what you need to do.

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there are a total of18
  1. 1Rick
    May 22, 2008 at 6:34 am

    This post is hitting right where I am at right now. Would you mind following up this post with how you were stuck and what changes you made that made the difference?

  2. 2tony
    May 22, 2008 at 6:36 am

    and we’re glad you did because we want what God wants for you - and burnout is a tough place to be in any facet of life. wellsprings of water (life) are much more fun - and we get to watch you get wet! plus we all get to get soaked together

  3. May 22, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Interesting to read you post in light of watching the conference in SoCal this week with Rick Warren. He talked quite a bit about burnout amoung those in the ministry and his remarks about it were very good.

    There are some good steps to keep in mind like remembering that God intended for us to work 6 days a week, not 10 :)

  4. May 22, 2008 at 7:26 am

    You don’t play fair C! You tell us you made changes but then don’t tell us what you did! :) Care to share what you have done?

    Other than keeping a cycling “date” at lunchtime one of the things I have had to do here is adjust my time. My wife’s day off is Monday and mine is Friday. I abhor Monday’s off so I work in the morning and spend some time in the afternoon with her. I still take Friday off, for me and my sanity.

  5. May 22, 2008 at 8:58 am


    I was there back in Nov. I made a decision to resign with nowhere to go. I’ve made huge changes in my life since then. But for the first time in ministry I made a change and didn’t have to move to a new house or community. That has taken some adjustment.

    I’m also making a change by driving a scooter to work because of almost $4 gas. My son wants to make sure I wear a full mask on my helmet. :)

  6. 7Bill G
    May 22, 2008 at 9:17 am

    I am currently not working in ministry but can relate to feeling stuck. I was totally there in my last job. My major change was leaving the job and a 25k cut in pay. At the time it was exactly what I needed. I am beginning to feel that way again and it is bumming me out. I feel as though I should be in ministry but don’t know how how or where.

  7. May 22, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I’m with Rick and Bill, I’d love more detail as to what kind of major changes you made. Thanks for this post!

    God Bless ‘_^

  8. May 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I’m with Rick, Bill and Suraj… I’d love to see an example or two of what you mean by “major changes”.

  9. May 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I was not stuck, I was buried. I did two things to disrupt my life -
    1) I joined a retreat community through The Transforming Center and committed to meeting each quarter for two solid years. This requires me to spend almost $1000 each quarter out of my own pocket - but it’s been well worth it. I can’t exaggerate the huge difference this has made in my life, walk and ministry.

    2)I’d love for you to check out my story on my blog at: and read my latest entry entitled “The Refiner’s Fire”. In short I went through some difficult times at church and decided to ask for a sabbatical, which I am presently on. Again, one of the most difficult yet rewarding steps I’ve ever taken.

    Both of these have been MAJOR disruptions in my life that I’ve done purposefully. They were both quite scary, btw.

  10. May 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve been in ministry for the past decade and I’m taking a two year sabbatical. After losing our five-year-old son, Josiah, to cancer two years ago, I jumped right back in because I thought I had to. I didn’t wrestle with my own disappointments honestly and I drifted. It almost cost me my marriage and family but God’s grace has stepped in and we are doing wonderful but it’s because I had to call a time-out. It’s been the best thing for my family and for my own spiritual health… breaking from professional Christianity. If God sees for us to ever reengage the ministry, we’ll definitely build margin and healthy boundaries into our life.

  11. May 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    On Monday night I told my son Eli (who is 5) that I had to go to worship practice. He looked at me and said, “Dad - that’s 2 nights in a row!”. He was right, the night before I had a worship meeting.

    On the drive to practice, it hit me that a night out of the house (even for ministry) is still something negative to Eli. I often criticize my buddy for working too much overtime in engineering. But to Eli, what I’m doing is no different.

  12. May 22, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    @ Terry Foester - the problem with being a workaholic, or just working too much, is you often don’t realize you’re doing it. It’s only a meeting here or a night there until all you’re doing is working … even if working is ministry your family should come first.

  13. May 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I too am interested in what changes you have done. It seems in ministry sometimes we take on more and more, and don’t know what we should say no to and yes to.

    I find that I say yes, thinking it’s the right thing to do, but it consumes my time and makes me ineffective in other areas of ministry. I don’t want to be a 80% leader, I want to be a 100% leader in the ONE thing I’m good at.

  14. May 25, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    One of those changes for me happened when I had to admit that the church would do just fine without me for a season. And if it would fall apart without me, it NEEDED to fall apart without me for a season (hope that makes sense).

    At any rate, it has also been a priceless gift to have a high-trust team who routinely informs me when I’m getting, in their words, “crispy,” and insists that I “get out of Dodge” for a while. All of us need people whom we allow to gauge our crispiness and speak into it.

  15. May 26, 2008 at 1:27 am

    We are going through some major changes right now…change reveals where you are not trusting God (I get comfortable with certain things - I KNOW that I know He will do).

  16. May 26, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for this post, Craig. Your transparency in ministry is refreshing and blesses me beyond words.

  17. May 29, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    [...] Craig Groeschel wrote a bit about change recently… [...]