Why Leaving Full Time Ministry for a Season May be a Good Thing

Over the past five years that I've been the pastor of River City Baptist Church, I've had numerous conversations with young men who are burnt out in full-time ministry. I've spent countless hours counseling and giving advice on what these men should do for their mental health, the health of their families, and how to strengthen their relationship with God in these times.

Not everyone takes the advice I give. Those who listen to guidance and counsel have seen tremendous success in their lives. One of such men is Erik Mckay, the Student Ministries Pastor at River City. When Erik came to Jacksonville, he was defeated, struggling, and needed to focus on his family. In the three years that he's been on my team, I have seen him grow and it's been encouraging to watch as he impacts the lives of young people for Jesus Christ.

This episode of my podcast touches on the counsel I gave Erik, which is the same advice I give to all the men on this topic. I know it's a touchy subject and what I have to share goes against the counsel many pastors would give. Here's what I would tell someone who calls asking for direction while struggling in a difficult ministry or who is burnt out:

1. You need to leave and you need to leave fast.

2. You need to be very slow to pick up another ministry job.

3. You should consider being employed in a secular position and being in a healthy church.

Let us know if you agree or disagree with these thoughts by reaching out to us. If you want to be a guest on the podcast specific to this topic or any other topic, you can email our producer at

Don't forget to subscribe to the Bryan Samms Podcast. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me by:




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