Margie Bryce

Your leadership coach
and self-care advocate

102: Messing up the Balancing Act of Ministry and Self Preservation

The Crabby Pastor
The Crabby Pastor
102: Messing up the Balancing Act of Ministry and Self Preservation

Discover the transformative journey from the burdens of leadership to the oasis of self-care and sustainable ministry with Margie Bryce, host of the Crabby Pastor podcast. Dive into the tranquil sanctuary of her glass workshop as she extends a personal invitation to fellow ministry leaders seeking balance and renewal.

In this candid episode, Margie confesses her struggles and triumphs in asking for help, including the profound impact of extending hospitality during the pandemic. Through intimate revelations, she sheds light on the subtle signs of burnout often ignored and offers practical tools for self-assessment and proactive care.

Join Margie as she navigates the delicate dance between serving others and nurturing one’s well-being, sharing insights to guide listeners toward a sustainable and revitalized approach to ministry. Don’t miss this heartfelt discussion on cultivating endurance in your calling, ensuring your passion for service burns bright without burning out.Support the show

This is a GUILT-FREE zone! So here’s your friendly nudge about self-care and its importance for the sake of your family, friends, and those you serve in ministry.

Get your FREE Burnout Questionnaire to help you assess whether you are dealing with just general tiredness or something MORE. 

I love scouring around to find great content to share, and am always interested in feedback, if you are or know of someone willing to share their Back from Burnout story so we can all learn together, then 
CLICK HERE to email me.

And, if this is a reminder you wish to opt out of, that’s fine too.

Blessings on your journey!


🦀 🦀 🦀

Find regular support on my Facebook group by clicking HERE.

Connect with me about COACHING and Workshops on self-care HERE.


Margie, your host: 0:01

Hey there, Margie Bryce here bringing you the Crabby Pastor podcast, and I don’t think you’re going to be too surprised to know that it’s too easy today to become the Crabby Pastor. Our time together will give you food for thought to help you be the ministry leader, fully surrendered to God’s purposes and living into whatever it takes to get you there and keep you there. So we’re talking about sustainability in ministry. So how do the pieces of your life fit together? Do they fit together well and things are humming along just fine, or are there some pieces that are tight or absent or just not fitting the bill? This is your invitation to join me in my glass workshop for a video series, where I am going to do a stained project. While I work on a project I talk to you about sustainability and building sustainability into your heart and into your life. So I am going to be doing my art, which is a form of self-care, and I’m going to invite you into that space with me and I’m going to chat. I’m going to chat about self-care and I’m going to show you how I create, and there’s a nifty, nifty analogy. Stained glass seems to be a very good metaphor for what I want to talk about, so I’d love for you to join me. To do that, opt in, I’ll need you to email me at CrabbyPastor at gmailcom. That’s CrabbyPastor at gmailcom. So you won’t want to miss this. You definitely won’t want to miss this. So make a plan to join me in the glass workshop.

Well, this episode is a bit of a confession to you. You know, as the host of the Crabby Pastor podcast, I have a real passion and a real heart for you in your life and in your ministry so that you can go the distance with God, so that you can have sustainability, and, you know, that strong sense of peace that is promised by Jesus in the Scriptures. So that’s kind of my MO.

But you know, I have to say, when I told one of my colleagues what I was doing this was very early on he said oh man, pastors, that’s a really tough audience and I was sort of taken aback by that. But as time has played out, it is showing to be a bit of truth and it’s really easy to sit and say you know, those people need to get in here. I mean, doesn’t that sound familiar to you? All those people out there that don’t know Jesus, they need to get in here. And same thing with what I am talking about in terms of self care, in terms of sustainability. Y’all need to get in here, you know, and no one has said to me well, let’s just say this. Most people say to me this is really important, it’s really important work. It encourages me to, you know, to continue to keep on keeping on. So I wanted to say that sometimes that mindset, you know, can overtake you All. Y’all need to get in here. And I wanted to share about a recent mind shift that I had, and it also speaks to another avenue of self-care, which is having someone on the journey with you to help point out some things that are obvious but you don’t see about yourself because, as another friend has said to me, well, you can’t be your own dentist, so sometimes you do have to have someone else help point some things out to you.

So I have to say that I meet monthly with a spiritual director and I also have a coach, but my spiritual director was the one recently that really, you know, was one of those sessions where you just kind of feel like you had your feet taken out from underneath you. I mean, she didn’t mean harm and it was. It really wasn’t harmful, but it was that kind of I guess epiphany might be the best word to describe it, the epiphany that I had. So, as some of you may have heard or may know, I’m going to restate here you know, during COVID we had another family living in our home and it it that’s challenging stuff. It’s challenging for anybody, even the most stable of individuals. This would be a challenge for because it’s two different families, two different ways of doing life and seeing things and eating meals and all of this. It just was, and you know, towards the end of their stay here, I know I was pretty stressful and stressed out and I couldn’t. I finally one day said to my husband I don’t know what to do, I’m stuck, I don’t know what to do. Now, mind you, I’m coaching people during this time, you know, because people do their, their work, their ministry, and you know stuff’s always going on in the background, whatever we all deal with that as part of a caring kind of profession here.

So I just said those actual words, they came out and now when I talk to people about coaching, I often say you know, are you stuck? Do you need a new perspective on the same old, same old? You know, you just kind of feel like you’re living Groundhog Day, you know, over and over and over and over, like the movie, but you’re just not making any headway. So I, when I talk to people about coaching, I will say you know, if you’re stuck, that’s when you need a coach, and it’s not like I didn’t have a coach at that time. But the issue was that I realized was that I didn’t seek help. I did not seek help. I knew I needed help, but I just was so enmeshed in what was going on and my thoughts and my emotions and trying to figure out the best way forward that would make Jesus happy that I could live with that. I, you know how do I, what do I do here, and I didn’t ask for help on that specific thing that I was needing help with.

And so I wanted to confess that to you because, just you know I, I do this for ministry leaders and I think man, all of them need this, we do we all. We all need this. We all need to understand what our part is in the equation here on planet Earth, and part of this is to be a good steward with the bodies that God has given to us and so we can be faithful disciples of Jesus to the best of our ability. It’s offering God your best, being a good steward with what you’ve been given, learning to love your neighbors as you love yourself. So on some level here you got to love yourself, if you are going to love your neighbor, that’s for sure.

It was quite humbling, let me tell you it, because that was, you know, more than a year ago actually, that I was in that place and I realized that, you know, I’m just like everybody else. Ah, I was in a situation I needed help on that specific situation and I just didn’t do it. I sat and I stewed in it and just kind of swam around in it and didn’t even say, oh, where’s the life preserver for this? You know, where is a coach? Where is, you know, anybody, somebody? And I know I did a previous episode with Dr Chris Adams about why there is resistance to coaching. What is it about coaching? Maybe the question, the better question, is what is it about us as ministry leaders that we feel we can just, you know, lead the charge and go and not need anything else? You know, I frequently said it’s an act of humility to come to someone else and say, hey, I need some help. Even if it’s just a conversation, sometimes, that’s what can awaken you.

So I really enjoyed my time with my spiritual director. It just, it just hit me like a lightning bolt. Hit me like a lightning bolt. That, you know. It’s not that I think that I’m different from all y’all. I mean, my calling is different, everybody’s calling is different, but we for sure are all in this together. I work on my self-care because, boy, you can’t have a podcast on sustainability in ministry if you’re not attempting to do that yourself. So, yeah, it helps to keep me on task. Do I get off? Sure, sure, I do. Food, food is especially a big one for me and I have, you know, returned to the throes of the gang of weight watchers to try to keep myself reigned in and under control, because, at the end of the day, I don’t want to get to the place where I’m so unhealthy that I’m not as much good to anyone else.

And, besides, I get crabby. I do get crabby when I’m not feeling good about myself, when I’m not loving myself properly. We’re not talking about ridiculous self-absorbed narcissism, you know. We’re not talking about any levels of that. We’re talking about a healthy appreciation for the life that God has given to us, for the calls that God has given to us, for the people in our lives God has given to us, that we need to, then, you know, honor our bodies that God has given to us. I mean, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and so we need to be living into that and I need to be living into that and I need to still continue to. You know, watch myself and, in terms of, you know, am I stuck somewhere and who can I talk to about this?

So I just want to encourage you. If you’re in that place today where you know you’re kind of stuck, you’re not sure what to do about it. You may even think there’s no absolute solution anywhere on the planet for what you are going through, and you know, maybe there isn’t, but maybe there are people that can come alongside you as you are walking through it. You know God never puts things in our lives and then leaves us to walk alone through it, even though there’s times where you might feel that way. Theologically, we know better, and maybe you just need to be reminded of that today, that you’re walking through something and it’s always great to have other people for the journey. You want to allow other people to be the gifts that God intends for you to have in your life and let them speak good things into your life, because you have to love yourself that way as well, so that if you love yourself well, then I think we’re better able to love other people and we are less cranky, we are less touchy and we are less easily offended. We are more the people that God would have us to be.

And you know, we all need a good dose of compassion for everybody around us, because there are many people around suffering in silence, not just the people in your congregation, but other ministry leaders as well. I mean especially after COVID. I think we’re I know we’re a little more quirky after COVID, or so any of the handful of counselors that I’ve spoken to have said, because I’ve asked them that question you know, before COVID we were quirky. Are we more or less quirky about the same? And they said, oh, we’re more quirky. So for sure, since COVID, there’s a lot of people that have been impacted and you’re not impacted just in COVID, but coming out of COVID and then living with the trauma and people were impacted in various ways, same event, various ways that people are hit with that and they deal with that in various and sundry ways and we’re still we’re still limping out of that. A lot of people I’ve heard people you know in my area that are getting divorced. You know, maybe you get to the place where you say, well, life’s too short, I’m not living like this. Or, you know, I’ve decided to make some big shifts and changes since COVID. I’m not living like that anymore. I mean, there’s a lot of that going on and people maybe don’t understand the level of trauma that they have and they don’t understand that maybe they need help and there is help out there. This is where you know, we hear on the news there’s a mental health crisis going on and I think there is for sure, for sure.

Many of us have been impacted, whether it is you personally, the people around you, family, friends, people in your congregation. I do have another colleague that I chat with and she just said it. She just feels the devil’s on a rampage. I don’t know, I’m not a devil is behind every kind of rock gal, you know, but there are influences around that can stir the pot and make things worse and more divisive and more intense, and then what they are, and so I think some of that is at play here. But then we also just need to do the part that we can do and just not be a victim to that, because greater is he who is in me than he was in the world, right? So we don’t want to be a victim to that, even though being a victim seems to be rather popular today. I really don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be a you know, that sad little lump of clay on the you know the side of the road, isn’t she pathetic? Who wants to do that? So I want to be the person that God has called me to be Lumps, bumps, warts, and all you know this is. It is what it is, Jesus, and you created me, so you know that.

So I did want to come before you, though, today and make that personal confession and, at the same token, make the plea that don’t be walking alone. You need to get a spiritual director, a coach, someone to walk with you that is going to offer you just free space to be yourself, to be totally honest and have it. Not have any repercussions. We all need that. We all need that. So connect with me if you think you want to explore or have a conversation. I’m always game to have that with someone and any conversation I have with you in initial thing is free. Anyway, you know, and I love to chat with people, I love to hear your stories and I love to be able to just encourage you and to give you any help or direction that I can. So don’t walk alone and just say you need help. When you need help, find someone to help you. Be blessed, my friends.

Are you wondering whether your fatigue, your lack of motivation, your lack of interest is burnout Maybe? I just wanted to let you know that I have a resource on the website, margiebryce dot com that’s B-R-Y-C-E MargieBryce dot com, and it is a burnout questionnaire, free for you to download and kind of self-assess and get a sense of where you’re at. There are questions that not only ask about what you’re going through but maybe how often you’re experiencing it and that’s that’s kind of a key to where you might be, because you have to know where you are in order to chart a course forward. And most pastors who experience pastors and ministry leaders who experience burnout rarely know that that’s where they’re at until they’re well into it. And if you’re unsure about that little statistic so far. Everybody that I’ve interviewed on this podcast who has experienced burnout. When I asked that kind of question, they’re like, yeah, I didn’t know, that’s where I was at, so again, go to margiebryce dot com. It’s on the homepage of the website and you can get your burnout questionnaire and kind of see where you’re at.

Hey friends, the Crabby Pastor podcast is sponsored by Bryce Art Glass and you can find that on Facebook. I make stained glass that’s part of my self-care and also by Bryce Coaching, where I coach ministry leaders and business leaders, and so the funds that I generate from coaching and from making stained glass is what is supporting this podcast. And I will have opportunities for you to be a part of sponsoring me and, as always, you can do the buy me a cup of coffee thing in the in the show notes. But I will have some other ways that you can be a part of getting the word out about the importance of healthy self-care from ministry leaders. Hey, thanks for listening. It is my deep desire and passion to champion issues of sustainability in ministry and for your life, so I’m here to help. I stepped back from pastoral ministry and I feel called to help ministry leaders create and cultivate sustainability in their lives so that they can go the distance with God and whatever plans that God has for you. I would love to help, I would consider it an honor and, in all things, make sure you connect to these sustainability practices you know, so that you don’t become the Crabby pastor.

Let's Chat! GET Relief NOW

Are you chronically tired and overwhelmed?

Are you serving people and feeling so drained
that you are at risk for burnout?

Does serving people feel harder than you thought it would be?

Book a Free Discovery Call to have an honest conversation on how you can refocus and realign yourself to intentionally cultivate a sustainable lifestyle.

Get weekly reminders when a new episode goes live.


The Crabby Pastor podcast

Got a burnout story?

Got a situation or issue you’d like discussed on the podcast? Share with Margie using the form below. If used in a podcast episode, your situation will be handled anonymously UNLESS you are up for being a guest on the podcast.