Why would anyone pretend a suicide to become a homeless wanderer – forfeiting church, family, and community? My colleague – the outward picture of success – did just that. He dropped out of the lifestyle and ministry he had worked so long to achieve. My initial response was to label and dismiss him as weak. But that was before events in my own life forced me to reckon with similar puzzling behaviors. We both experienced the personal devastation of Burnout. Do you have any of these telltale symptoms? Emotional exhaustion, cynicism, apathy, low morale, absenteeism, frequent job changes, substance abuse, marital conflicts, and emotional problems. Directed primarily toward professionals in people-helping careers, Burned Out: Why Me? examines the causes and effects of career burnout.
Author Biography: Charles E. Perry, Jr., M.Div., D.Min., is a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Seminary. His other writings are: Why Christians Burn Out by Thomas Nelson Publishers, The Treasure on Orchard Hill, The Treasure of Our Heritage, In The Potter's Hands, and The Caregiver by Nethope Publishing.
Read an Excerpt
From Chapter 1. "My dear God! What's wrong with me? I've lost all desire to serve you. I feel alone. I'm exhausted all the time. I don't care to live anymore. Please make a way for me to escape. Lord, you know my thoughts. You know some of the terrible things I am thinking. Help me Lord! Help Me!" cried Bob, who was a young burned-out pastor just four years into the ministry from seminary. Whether God made the way to escape or Bob made it himself, he found a way to leave the ministry. I remember Bob’s words. "Charles, have a back-up vocation in case you fail in the ministry." Bob resigned his church and established himself in a securities business as a stockbroker. He appeared to be successful, and satisfied. I thought, maybe Bob was not supposed to have been in the pastoral ministry at all. Twenty years past before I heard any news about Bob. My friend Walt called me late one night and said, "Have you heard the news about Bob?" I assured him that I had not heard anything recent about him.
Walt replied, "You'd better sit down. Bob suffered financial ruin in the stock market. He lost everything he owned. His wife left him because he gambled with their possessions. He became so depressed from all those losses that he shot himself. He's dead."
My stomach churned as I heard the disturbing news. I could not reply. I heard Walt asking, "Are you still there?" but I could not answer. After gaining my composure I asked Walt, who was much closer to Bob than I, "What brought all of this on? The last time I saw him he appeared to be happy?"
Table of ContentsChapter 1 Something is Wrong
Chapter 2 My Life is in the Ashes
Chapter 3 Most Likely to Succeed
Chapter 4 In the Bind
Chapter 5 Escaping the Pain
Chapter 6 Obsession is a Way of Life
Chapter 7 Unrighteous Indignation
Chapter 8 Just to Get Away
Chapter 9 An Honest Perspective
Chapter 10 Decisions, Decisions!
Chapter 11 Starting Over
Chapter 12 Two Decades Later