First, ask yourself — What is my understanding of my call to impact the world? See if you can write it out in a sentence. Second, ask — What is my hope level of this happening? Rate on a scale of 1-10: One meaning little hope, 10 fullness of confidence. Third, ask — How has your ministry experience affected your belief in yourself, other people and God? Has there been a sliding toward negative attitudes in any of these three categories? Fourth — Consider the difference between faithfulness and impact. Which was your calling to? Often when we are called to a certain ministry, we add our own assumptions about how that ministry is going to change the world. When our assumptions don’t pan out we move easily to despair. Fifth — Reflect specifically on how your practical belief about God has changed? I have yet to meet a person in burnout who has denied their professed faith, they will still affirm their doctrinal stand. However, there is often a change in their practical belief. So for example, a person may affirm God provides but practically they may believe “he doesn’t provide for me.” A person may affirm that God is all-wise, but practically believe “in my life he doesn’t know what he is doing.” The pressing and disappointing circumstances of ministry often lead to a shift of what a person really believes about the Lord. These shifted beliefs are often at the heart of the despair and lost hope. Sixth — ask God to show you how to move forward in preventing and recovering from this loss of hope. This will most likely include at least two aspects. The first aspect is that of repentance. Though we don’t like to hear or admit it, we often have attitudes, practices we need to change our mind about and seek God’s forgiveness. A second aspect is that of our practical beliefs. If we practically believe, for example, that God is wise but not in our life, that idea will have to be informed with the truth of scripture through meditation, prayer and the support of others. To leave this unattended, will keep us locked in burnout and in the clutches of hopelessness. The wonderful news is that there is an escape from the burnout trap. God is able to restore your hope as our practical belief finds its bearings in the truth of God as revealed in Scripture. Times of refreshing await those who seek the Lord.