When your project burns you out

Are you tired of doing good things?

Does it seem like your efforts are never quite enough?

Are you worn out by what’s in front of you?

I was talking to a friend of mine, trying to suggest to him some different ways of working, when he reacted with, “If I don’t help those kids, no-one else will!”

For many of us in ‘caring professions, in charities or faith-based organisations, this is often how it can feel—and let’s be honest, sometimes how it actually is—that, “There’s only me left.”

It could be seen comparable to the medic on the battlefield: triaging patients, trying to assess who should be helped and who has to be left to their own devices. It’s an inhumane position to be in.

This is where there are twin advantages for those from active faith communities:

Firstly, it is never all about us. We cannot save the world; we can only do the best with the tools we have, be that time, money, or our own energy. We have a divine hope that means any solution is not reliant solely on human hands.

Secondly, we are surrounded by a community; people that can help to bear the load practically and are always available to give moral support, encouragement and wisdom.

We are not alone and we never should be.

So, if you find yourself crushed by the responsibilities of your work, maybe it’s because you have pulled away from the herd. Don’t go it alone—involve the community around you and cultivate those who wish to be partners. And if you’re a pioneer, help to nurture those who will follow in your wake.

If your project burns you out, create community instead!