About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Justified by Burnout???

Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term physical and emotional exhaustion.

My family and I are going to take a little break in the month of February. I'm gonna go to a couple of conferences and retreat to the mountains for a couple of weeks. Why? Because I refuse to burnout. I'm not even close right now and I honestly don't ever want to experience it.

Over the past three years as we have planted Vintage Church in New Orleans, I have heard so many in the church planting world share about how in the first 5 years of their church plant they worked themselves to a place of full exhaustion. Some couldn't get out of bed for weeks, some got really sick and almost died, some ended up cheating on their wives or vice versa, and unfortunately some killed themselves.

I am a little concerned by the discussion that I find in most church planter circles. It seems like a lot of church planters are in pursuit of burning out because somehow that will justify their ministry. Who are they trying to impress? Are they cooler because they got unhealthy? Will this help them sell more books in the future (as if that is the ultimate goal of ministry). Burnout is not the key to a successful church plant and it isn't the way by which we are justified before God.

Now, please know that I'm not saying that we shouldn't work hard as ministers of the Gospel. Please also know that I'm not saying that we should spend the majority of our ministry on vacation. What I am saying is that we are called to be faithful to God first, our family second, and then our church. How useful can you be as a church planter paralyzed by exhaustion, in the hospital, in divorce court, or in the grave?

Take a break and get some rest. If you are afraid that your church will fall apart when you leave then you might need to reconsider whose kingdom you are really trying to build?

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