Myth Three: Older leaders are more likely to burn out than younger leaders.
Recent research on clergy age seems to indicate that younger clergy are more likely to burn out than their older colleagues. In general, levels of mental health improve as people age. And older clergy are more likely than their younger colleagues to have learned how to manage their stress.
It seems that clergy that do not learn how to manage stress do not have the opportunity to be in ministry a long time because they burnout. How do you respond? In what ways do you manage stress?
I was deeply encouraged by learning about the concept of chabadza. This is a custom of the Shona people of Zimbabwe in which a traveler stops to help anyone whom they pass as they are going on their way. If I am traveling from village to village and see someone working in their field, I will stop to help, even just for a few strokes of a hoe. Then a conversation may start in which I may find directions from the worker and the worker may pass along a message for someone in the next village. It is a mutually beneficial partnership.
Chabadza means that someone is working in the field and a passer by works alongside in the same field with the same goal.
I believe that this is a healthy understanding of partnership and is an excellent model for partnerships between annual conferences.