Burn out is very common in ministry. I get into the office at 8 am and leave anywhere from 4-6 pm. Then, we have youth events, games, random teens show up at my house, phone calls, texting, etc. Now, I am going to give you guys a few things that come to my mind aside from keeping your relationship with Jesus right. That is a no brainer!
Here are some things that I would encourage you to do:
- Make one night a week a family/date night– right now, we have a 3 month old so she goes with us on our date nights and is quite good. I make sure we have a night where my family goes out to eat together or I get home around 4:30 pm and spend the entire evening with them. You need this family time. Your family is your first ministry, remember, not student ministry.
- Only send texts/answer phone calls if they are important during the evenings– I have had a time where I did not answer a phone call just cause I did not want to talk, and someone had passed away so I typically always answer my phone. I use discretion though on length of call. I try and get off quickly if it is not that important. I get tons of text from students. The last thing my wife wants is me on my phone constantly (which I struggle with). I do not send texts normally unless they are important.
- Work hard during the day. Student pastors get hackled for being lazy, we do not have to be. If we work hard during the day, we should not have much church work to do during the evenings.
- Remember, social media is part of your job. I felt bad years ago for using facebook during the day, but honestly, now, I consider it a part of my job. I connect with students and pastors through this so I do not feel bad using it throughout the day for those purposes, not just for personal use. This will eliminate being addicted to it during the evenings.
- Be smart with scheduling activities– do not schedule more than you and your wife can handle!
Hope this helps! I know that it was lengthy, but great question.