Sometimes the Caregiver of a “burned out” missionary or pastor must take drastic action with or without the permission of the worker, when it’s in their power to do so. To act otherwise is irresponsible, since we are often the “first line” of revelation of serious issues that could negatively affect a Christian worker for a long period of time.
The best course of action, however, is to help the stressed Christian worker see the serious condition they are presently living with. Too often the “frog in the kettle” syndrome — getting boiled so slowly one doesn’t realize it — masks the seriousness of the situation to them. It’s our job as Caregivers to raise the yellow and red flag before it’s too late. Howcan we best help them see their own condition?The Tel Aviv University study posed these five questions to those in the study, asking participants to answer with “never,” “sometimes,” “often,” or “always.”
1. How often are you tired and lacking energy to go to work in the morning?
2. How often do you feel physically drained, as if your batteries were dead?
3. How often is your thinking process sluggish or your concentration impaired?
4. How often do you struggle to think over complex problems at work?
5. How often do you feel emotionally detached from coworkers or customers, and unable to respond to their needs?
Christian Worker, take the test now and see how you stack up at the moment.
This simple “stressor” test in our caregiving toolbox, could help us identify those under too much stress. Mission Committee members as well as Mission Pastors could even routinely ask these five questions of their returning workers. A Church Board could ask these of their Pastor year in the annual job review. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Sharon Toker, the leader of the study, says that two or more responses of “often” or “always” are a major RED FLAG.
Then action should be taken and seriously so. She also notes that to move forward out of this condition the time-tested stress reducers like exercise and more sleep could help. The most drastic remedial action, yet probably the most helpful, could be looking for a different job. And if that’s not possible, then working with the Christian worker to help them reduce external stressors with internal strengthing is probably the only way to go.
Question: Have you dealt with any burnout issues in your Caregiving recently? If so, how did you handle it and move the Christian worker from stress to health? Any thoughts for the rest of us?