How To Handle Church Burnout

Woodside Bible Church
Woodside Bible Church
4 min readMar 14, 2024


If you ever want to know what the world thinks about a particular topic, there are two places I always default to when beginning my research: Reddit or Twitter (sorry, I refuse to call it X). These two platforms, albeit chaotic and messy, are usually solid gauges of people’s opinions on any given topic. So naturally, when I wanted to learn more about what the world felt about burnout, my first stop was these platforms.

After scrolling through a few Reddit threads, I found myself in an interesting sub-thread about church burnout. This naturally piqued my interest and I started to dig a little deeper. Sure enough, not only is church burnout a very real thing, but it turns out to be something I’ve personally experienced.

We all get tired — whether it be from hard work, daily stress, or unforeseen circumstances. But usually, with rest and maybe a good meal, we can come out on the other side feeling refreshed and recharged. Burnout, however, is a completely different experience. It’s something that can cause us to feel continuously tired or lethargic even after extended periods of rest.

Maybe you’ve experienced burnout before. If you have, you’ll know that the worse the burnout becomes, the more exhausted and frustrated we can get — often leading to cynicism, decreased productivity, increased stress, and sometimes a desire to leave whatever situation, job, etc. that’s causing the strain. Unfortunately, these feelings are all too real for some of us when it comes to church. Let me explain.

When I was deep in the Reddit-thread rabbit hole, none of the church burnout stories I read were from people who’d worked at a church or had jobs in full-time ministry. Instead, they were regular church attendees trying to balance the push and pull of their daily lives with the obligation they felt to serve within the church.

Now before you come at me and say, “Ravae, we don’t serve out of obligation! We serve because we love Jesus,” let it be known that, yes, I’m aware. But as I read through these Reddit stories, I realized that the joy of serving can quickly turn into burnout if we’re not carefully protecting our time. Burnout like this can lead to resentment — not just against the church itself, but against God.

There was a season of my life where I felt like I was doing it all — working, trying to maintain a social life, and taking care of my household responsibilities, all while serving as much as I could both inside and outside of the church.

I was exhausted, anxious, and overwhelmed all the time, and I felt like I couldn’t say no because if I did, I’d immediately be wracked with guilt. I didn’t take joy in serving anymore because I was physically exhausted from everything that I had going on. I showed up to check a box because “that’s what good Christians do.” It got to the point where Sunday morning would roll around and I didn’t want to go to church at all. This was me experiencing church burnout.

Quite frankly, this is exactly what Satan wants. He wants us to resent God and the church, and he’ll use any tactic necessary to do so. He’ll overload and overrun our schedules, feeding us the lie that being busy gives us some type of status or value — that we’re at our “best” when we’re the most sought after, or that we’re winning the parenting game when our kids make it onto the “best” sports team. The list can go on and on.

This begs the question — how do we combat burnout? The answer is simple: we need to prioritize seasons of true rest. We need to be okay with saying no to things, even if it means saying no to good things. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying we need to stop serving or completely ignore the church when we get tired — it’s essential that we, as the body of Christ, serve the church. However, as individual members of the body, we don’t have to do it all or carry the burden alone.

The word rest appears in Scripture over 800 times, so it’s pretty safe to assume that rest is important to God. I mean, even He rested (Genesis 2:2–3)! The biggest lesson I learned in my season of church burnout was the importance of taking a step back and resting — not just from serving at church, but in all areas of my life. When we say yes to everything, we often forget that we’ll have to say no to something else. Sometimes that no is to our own mental health.

Jesus says in Matthew 11 that He is the giver of rest. If Jesus is the one who gives us rest, then it’s important that we take it. If you’re experiencing burnout of any kind, let me encourage you to look at your schedule and ask:

1️⃣ What’s absolutely necessary?

2️⃣ What brings me the most joy?

3️⃣ How can I best glorify God with my time?

Then pray that God will fill you with the wisdom to know where and when you need to take a step back and enter into a season of rest. My hope is that each of you can experience true rest that is found only in our Savior, Jesus.

Written by: Dr. Ravae Wilson
Published by Woodside Bible Church,



Woodside Bible Church
Woodside Bible Church

We exist to help people belong to Christ, grow in Christ, and reach the world for Christ across Southeast Michigan and the globe.