Fighting Fatigue

Uncategorized // July 3, 2021 //

Are you tired? Many of us are, and the reason may surprise you— we’ve been making decisions. For more than a year now people have been forced to make decisions, some big, some small, at a rate and number outside their typical capacity. The pandemic has introduced a deafening cacophony of new choices that demand our attention, and it’s wearing us out (down, thin, etc.!). In fact, many leaders have described themselves as being plagued by decision fatigue. Whether it’s coaching little league, teaching third-graders or running a business, if you’re leading at any level, you’re likely leading on low. 

The same is true for churches and those who lead them. Pastors live in the swirl. From reopening facilities to relaunching ministries, making the right decisions at the right times and in the right ways can be draining. This past season has kept us on our toes and on our knees. It’s been said of the church, “It’s easier to shut it down than open it up!” Amen and amen. 

How about you? Are you fighting fatigue? Perhaps you (or someone close to you) can relate. Life feels like one never-ending transition. Decisions feel like hungry piranhas, and each one takes a small bite out of your soul. Yikes, that hurts!

I’d like to share six ways I’ve personally fought fatigue over the past year. 

1.Recover the Lord. (Romans 11:33-36)

We have to start here. Doctrine develops disciples, and the sovereignty of God is an awesome doctrine. God rules, and God reigns. Nothing takes him by surprise. He is a God of sovereign decree. He ordains things, and they come to pass. He does not flinch, and he has broad shoulders. Trust the Lord and rest.

2.Restore your body.  (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Increased decision-making equals an increased stress level, and stress is hard on the body. That means you need to take care of yourself with good sleep, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. Our body is the Lord’s, and we are called to stewardship. 

3.Recruit a team. (Acts 15:6)

I’m fortunate to work among a plurality of highly skilled staff and lay leaders who shoulder responsibilities together. Thankfully no one has to carry the whole load. Get yourself in a like-minded (and hearted) community. You should never walk alone. 

4.Renew your mind. (Philippians 4:8)

Christian meditation is not to empty the mind, but to fill the mind. Therefore, you need to read: your Bible, and books on the Bible. A healthy diet of literature has a way of flushing your mind. You need your mind clear and clean to be useful for the Kingdom. 

5.Redeem the time. (John 9:4)

Fatigue is tough. But fatigue with fruit is much better. Use this time as a season of development. Learn yourself, sharpen your leadership skills and plan for the future. Take time to discover what God is doing in your life. Night is coming. Get to work. 

6.Recharge your soul. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Fatigue is hard on the body and the soul. Take time for soul care through a regular diet of intentional prayer. You must pray, not only to grow in Christ, but to weather the storms and stress of life. Let the Lord do what he does best. 

So, are you tired? You’re not alone, friend. It’s ok. Reach out to someone, tell them how you feel, tell them what’s been going on in your world. Chances are they will be glad to listen and eager to help. You’ll feel better, your spouse will thank you and you’ll be better equipped to serve the Lord.

About Neal Thornton