by | Dec 13, 2022 | Burnout, Disappointment, discouragement, Fatigue, Grief, Leadership, Loss, Ministry Leader, Pain, Pastor

Summary: In today’s episode, John and Jim welcome Josh Spurlock to the mic. Josh is the founder of My Counselor Online, an amazing organization dedicated to the mental and emotional well-being of leaders. In this powerful conversation, John, Jim, and Josh unpack current trends regarding burnout among leaders, what’s contributing to it, and what leaders can do to get and stay healthy. This is a can’t miss episode!


You can listen to the audio version here. Here is the video version


Here are the show notes:

  1. What trends are you noticing related to the mental health of leaders?
    • A reality that things are different in a permanent kind of way.
    • The expectations of people have shifted.
    • There is a settling in and a grieving around those things that won’t return to “normal.” We must learn how to come to terms with the new reality.
  2. We have observed a lot of fatigue and burnout among pastors.
    • What do you think is contributing to this?
      • Grief – Grief is an everyday part of life. It happens whenever we experience disappointment. I.e. – A ministry position I came to that turned out different than what I thought it would be. A loss of that dream. The Loss of friendships . . . what I thought this relationship would provide that it didn’t.
      • Burnout by a thousand small losses ungrieved – A cumulative effect of that leads to burnout and depression. The small losses are more likely to lead to burnout than the large losses, because we tend to trivialize the small losses. Our experiences with the important people in our life that often dismissed our small losses contribute to this. Or a spiritualization of the loss . . . the mistaken idea that if I acknowledge the “small loss” bothered me there is something wrong with me spiritually.
      • The volume of change and loss that leaders have faced has made it difficult to metabolize the loss in a healthy way, and they collapse under the weight of it.
    • What can leaders do in both a preventive way, and in a curative way?
      • Grieve the pain, name it, and allow ourselves to feel the loss associated with it.
      • Enlist the community around you – Teamwork the issue of dismissing loss in our lives. Share the loss experience with a safe person. This helps us process our grief in a way we can’t do on our own. Sharing our pain regulates our nervous system.
      • The strategy of the devil is to create shame around our need for help in grieving our losses.
      • Creating a culture where’s okay to not be okay.
        • Lead with vulnerability
        • Illustrate a culture of safety by being open and sharing the real stuff I’m facing as a leader – I.e. – “I have a real struggle with minimizing and dismissing the losses in my life…” It creates space where we can take risks and be honest.
        • The people we lead pick up on what’s happening inside of us and follow that more than anything else we say or do. The technical term is neuroception.

To reach out to Josh’s organization go to https://mycounselor.online/