The Over-Churched

According to bodybuilding.com, a person only has a .00565% chance of becoming a professional athlete, so what happens to all of those children who dreamed of becoming pro athletes?  Here’s one example: I dreamed of being a professional baseball player, but I sell insurance.

One of the NCAA’s advertising campaigns points out that the majority of college athletes will go pro in something other than sports, yet they still devote countless hours to developing their athletic prowess.  Chances are, those athletes did not just pick up a basketball and make it rain 3-pointers during their first game.  Their skills were first developed over a period of several years, even decades.

Fall baseball.  Tournaments in the winter.  Spring baseball.  Travel team during the summer.  Skills camps.  Weight training clinics.  The pressure to fulfill the dreams that their parents failed to achieve (That’s not my story, but you see it everyday).

To define the rising trend of fallen athletes, society has coined the phrase burned out.  Even the best athletes can get to a point where they are simply burned out, and they don’t want to play anymore.  The excitement, joy, and energy has evaporated.  Playing simply becomes a duty, a job, or a chore; so they just quit.

I feel that way with church sometimes.  I like church.  I like the people there.  I enjoy the idea of corporate worship.

Sometimes I just feel burned out.

I feel over-churched.

Have you ever felt that way.  You look at your schedule, and you realize that the majority of the time that you are not at work is either spent sleeping or at a church function.  Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and 3 Bible studies with work colleagues or friends.  Read the Bible in the morning.  Read it some more at night.  Don’t forget to pray before every meal.

Sometimes it leads to a burn out.  Even preachers need breaks every now and then.  I heard on the radio about a retreat center that caters solely to preachers so they can have a safe place to recharge their spiritual batteries.

Yes, it seems very selfish to feel like maintaining my spiritual life is a burden, but that’s just me being honest.  You’ve probably felt the same way but felt too guilty to actually diagnose your feelings.  You feel overwhelmed, like you just need a break, but that’s where we enter the danger zone.  Far too often “taking a break from church” can lead a person down a very dangerous slope.

“I just need some ‘me’ time,” slowly progresses to thoughts of “I can do this on my own.”  You can’t do this alone.  God gave us the Church because you can’t do this alone.  In no way am I saying that it is a good idea to break up with church.  Some of your biggest supporters and best friends are the people with whom you go to church.  Honestly, it would be a terrible idea to cut yourself off from that tree.

Have you ever felt over-churched?

As Christians, how can we recover from a faith burn out?

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