Creative Burnout and Significance in the Journey

We do what we do because we love it.  If you work in a creative field and don’t love it, you simply cannot excel at it because of how much heart is behind what you do.  But, even those who are passionate about what they do might be almost too passionate and wind up burning themselves out.

In a field like technical ministries, design, or something along those lines, we tend to view what we do in a very project driven mind set.  I know that’s true of me.  I feel like I accomplished something when I can stand back and see a fully-functional, complete and whole project finished.

We become possessive of what we do and what we’ve made instead of giving that project back to God as an offering of worship.  Then, when someone else critiques or criticizes (constructively or not), we become defensive and argue why we we think our methods and our ideas are best.  While that may be true, we need to remember that we function within a body of leaders who are all working towards the same goal.

Even if think we’ve met our goal or completed our purpose, if it doesn’t fit in with what our church is doing as a whole, then we have done something wrong.  That’s tough for creative people to accept.  Then, we experience burn out because we feel like we haven’t accomplished anything.

It is simply the wrong perspective to have.  We gauge what we do by what we’ve accomplished when it really isn’t about what we do, it’s about the process.

A passage of scripture that has become cliche in the church is Proverbs 3:5-6 which talks about trusting God with all our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding.  In what we do, we tend to lean on what we think or feel is right and protect what our end goal is.  But, the next part of this passage is what leapt of the pages to me today like never before.  “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

In other words, is about how we handle the process.  The direction of God and the true accomplishment is in the process, the journey, and what we see, do and feel along the way.

So, next time we start feeling burned out and discouraged as church technical creatives and leadership, thinking about what we’re doing along the way and not what we think the end goal should be.  That’s not meant to take the intentionality out of what we do, but simply to make the path to the end goal mean just as much as what we’re striving to accomplish in the end.

What do you need to notice more?  What do you need to be less concerned about?  Is there something in how you work or run your ministry that needs to change?


Other interesting articles:

Intentionality With Time and Focus

Depend on God and do what you do well

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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