Dealing With Burnout as An Administrator or Assistant Pastor

We know that being an assistant pastor or administrator of the church means you wear many hats; all of the hats, most likely. The number one challenge we hear when working with assistant pastors is dealing with burnout and managing tasks. Here, we’ve compiled a detailed blog post on dealing with burnout as an administrator or assistant pastor. It’s filled with quotes from leaders, simple tips, and deep inspiration to light a fire inside you.

Dealing With Burnout

Every member of a healthy church gives something. The congregation gives time and donations. The lead pastor gives the knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Behind the scenes, the worship directors, administrative staff, and volunteers all give blood, sweat, and tears to keep the church running. As the associate pastor and administrator, you potentially give more than all of those positions combined, because you have so many different responsibilities. Dealing with the pressure of being an assistant pastor or administrative assistant can be extremely challenging. Here’s how to cope.

Strategically Share The Burden

Almost everyone has had to ask for help from volunteers or other staff members, and that’s wonderful. But you should also schedule delegation into your daily routine. The associate pastor as well as the head pastor should always have weekly time to reflect, free of tasks. Delegate your daily duties to another church member for a day, so you can spend quiet time decompressing, living with the Lord, and rebuilding energy.

Always Keep A Life Outside of the Church

Pastors and administrators give 24 hours a day to the church. It’s absolutely essential to find time in your schedule for play with others. Join groups in the local community, participate in walking and running clubs, and volunteer at other organizations where you are surrounded by positive people. Having a healthy social life with others is the perfect way to become inspired, relax, and even testify to others.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Think back to your daily duties. Are there tasks that you dread doing every single day? And conversely, what part of your day gets you excited? Most likely, some of the work you do doesn’t fit your personality style. Even though we all have to do things we don’t enjoy, there are other options. Perhaps there is another member of your team who you could trade duties with. You may be able to pick up a task you really enjoy, and give away a project that someone else wants to put passion into.

Motivate yourself Daily

No one wakes up ready to conquer the world every single day. In fact, a daily dose of motivation is usually essential to high performers like you. Take 15 – 20 minutes of every morning and read powerful scripture, or watch a powerful video. Head over to Journey Box Media, and watch a few of our inspirational mini-movies. We take pride in creating beautiful work that’s designed to ignite fires in others.

We know that it can be challenging to be a servant to the Lord sometimes. Small routine tasks get in the way of truly connecting with others and God. By taking time every day to learn, work with your strengths, and share your burden with others, you can passionately and effectively lead your church into the beautiful and powerful future.

2017-10-13T10:51:49+00:00 January 27th, 2014|3 Comments


  1. Easter Hangover | EMC3 Coaching April 18, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    […] People are too burned out from all their Holy Week exertions to assign these post-Easter projects to them.  This is a categorical mistake we routinely make as ministry leaders in which we either think we have to do it all ourselves or that we can only count on certain people (who happen to be the same people we need all-in on all of our Holy Week events).  What if, instead, we developed a connectional team – a separate team specifically gifted to do this important work – who were on the bench for Easter, ready to leap into action in the aftermath? […]

  2. Anonymous October 30, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I am an Associate Pastor and, honestly, I am almost finished. Hoped to move onto Lead or Senior Pastor. Whatever. Applied to other churches but when this was found out, just about got fired. Looking for a secular job now. Still love the Lord and want to be used by Him, but I’m just about through. Love the people, love to see them grow in Christ, but I can’t put my family through any more depression and discouragement. The Elder team just sees the any sign of my discouragement as weakness in my faith so I’m afraid to talk to any of them. (And I wrote this as soon as I came into the office on Monday morning before a day of prayer and fasting. Ha ha.)

    • Kevin O'Brien November 2, 2017 at 9:23 am - Reply

      I completely relate! You are not alone and you should know discouragement is not a sign of weakness in faith at all. And, even if it was, life is all about seasons. I certainly don’t know details about your situation, but I am living in a state of questioning for a few years now, and I feel like my faith is stronger because of it. (this is why we make videos like “This is Resurrection”). Your situation sounds toxic to your emotional and family health – I’m so sorry. It’s incredibly hard to make some of these decisions when providing for a family is at stake. I hope you can find peace. I’m just a filmmaker (although I was on a church staff for 10+ years), but if you want to talk through this more, or connect in any way, send me an email to kevin (at)

Leave A Comment


The founder of Journey Box Media, Kevin O'Brien, wrote this ebook to help you develop a strong, talented, and energized creative team.

+ Avoid the top mistakes creative teams make that can ruin services

+ Master the keys to managing your volunteers and always getting their best work

+ Use the “full-circle” format to ignite a fire in even the most passive congregations

You have Successfully Subscribed!