#DadsOnMission, Church planting, ministry, missions

How to Make a Difference in the World Without Being Traumatized, Overwhelmed, and Burned Out

Impact of media

Lots of negative stuff is presented 24 hours a day. Everything is a crisis, everything seems threatening. You can’t deny or hide from these issues, but how does this affect you?

  • vicarious trauma- you experience the trauma of other people’s struggles and losses.
  • compassion fatigue- feel like you have to do something about everything, all the time.
  • you shut down, become numb and don’t do anything because your brain is designed to protect you from trauma.
  • recognizing the needs and injustices of the world can be a catalyst for your calling. But watching and listening to the 24/7/365 barrage will shut you down. Seeing nonstop injustice will make you bitter and jaded.

Daily duties and cares
– can’t make a difference if we are constantly concerned with how you are going to meet basic needs of yourself and your family.
– if you have outstanding obligations, you will leave those things undone as you “do what you have to do” in day-to-day life. You can’t thrive in survival mode.

Avoid the “yes” trap
– you’re the kind of person who takes on too much.
– you will disappoint people, but saying no is very important.

“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.” (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭27-30‬ KJV)

What should we do then?
– Pick 3- prioritize around the areas of your life that are important to you.
– Build boundaries- designate sacred ground, protect it, limit the distractions and trauma triggers, understand that if you don’t do this you will be of no good to anyone, especially your family.
– Watch for signs- you’ll bump your ceiling ever so often. Usually the result of saying “yes” too often, to too many people. Respect the fact you can’t do it all and revive your priorities and boundaries.
– Measure success and celebrate.
– Make service a lifestyle. Don’t insulate it from the rest of your life. Embrace it, involve others in it, especially your children and spouse.
– Mind your spiritual life. You need to be connected to God’s agenda and His power. Remember you are not the Christ. He doesn’t put more on us than we can bear, but we certainly take more on ourselves than we should.

“In a world that needs your connectedness, you can’t afford to be shut down and out of the fight.”


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