Posts Tagged ‘group blogging’

I’m really glad to be a part of the group blogging project based on Anne Jackson’s book Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic. The previous blogger led discussions can be found at the folowing blogs:

  • mad church diseaseChapter 1: Andy Darnell
  • Chapter 2: Santos Samayoa
  • Chapter 3: John Gruber
  • Chapter 4: Kevin Martineau
  • Chapter 5: Larry Johnson 
  • Chapter 6: Adam Shields
  • Chapter 7: Chris Downs
  • Chapter 8: Dawn Carter 
  • Chapter 9 focuses on emotional health and it’s fitting that me, an overly emotional woman, landed this chapter discussion. I can’t sit through Hallmark commercials without being in tears.

    Before I begin, let me tell you where I am coming from. I served in youth and children’s ministry in the church just shy of 8 years where I eventually threw in the towel in an effort to save myself, my family and my sanity. I then spent the next couple of months seeking God and His plan for me. During this time God began opening doors for me to begin working with Ground Zero, a ministry that assists the Christian community in reaching teenagers.

    Ministry (paid or volunteer) can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience but it can also become lonely and painful. Instead of turning to God during these times of hurt and isolation many people look to unhealthy emotional escapes in order to numb or forget the pain that this season of ministry brings for them.

    Here are the ways Anne suggests fighting mad church disease in relation to emotional health:

    1. Own up
    2. Change your purpose
    3. Make a plan
    4. Create boundaries
    5. Accountability

    Accountability has come up again! I think I am picking up on a pattern here. Accountability is REALLY important in ministry.

    What do you do to avoid harmful growth of your emotional health?
    Do you have accountability with someone concerning this area?

    Continue the discussion here.


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    I have been focusing a lot on church volunteers due to upcoming job responsibilities and the change in my church status from church employee to church member/part of the volunteer pool. During this time of volunteer contemplation I have become involved in a group blogging discussion with the book “Mad Church Disease” by Anne Jackson. The discussion all started here.

    “Mad Church Disease” is a wonderful book that tackles the rarely discussed topic of ministry burnout. (I will be leading the discussion for chapter 9 next week.) When I first started reading this book my mind was focused on paid ministry position burnout because it’s what I have experienced. However, as we began group discussion on the book some of the discussion turned to volunteer burnout. I was highly aware of church staff burnout but not overly sensitive to volunteer burnout.

    Here are some questions I would like to tackle with some folks willing to discuss. Feel free to add your own.


    • How often do you volunteer?
    • Did you receive training for your position?
    • Have you experienced burnout as a volunteer?
    • Were/Are you serving in an area that you think you fit the best?
    • Did/Do you feel cared for/nurtured in your volunteer position?
    • How did you recover from burnout…or have you?

    Church Staff/Volunteer Coordinator:

    • How do you recruit volunteers?
    • How do you decide where to place volunteers in ministry?
    • What kind of training do volunteers get before serving?
    • How do you keep volunteers?
    • How do you protect volunteers from burnout/monitor their health?
    • How do you ensure that volunteers have ample time to be growing spiritually?

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    I am really looking forward to participating in a group blogging project with the book “Mad Church Disease” by Anne Jackson. I’ve never been part of a group blogging experience but I’ve had LOTS of experience with church burn-out. Paid youth ministry positions in 2 churches with 5 different pastors in less than 8 years will do it to you everytime.

    Starting June 8th, There will be 11 bloggers leading the discussion through the book. Here’s the batting order:

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