Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. — Kurt Vonnegut, 20th-century American novelist

This workshop is the second in Harvest the Power's Purpose unit. Participants address the question, "What ends do we serve?" from their perspectives as members of both a faith community and a leadership team. The workshop helps participants consider how they care for themselves as leaders and how they encourage and model self-care for other members of the congregation.

Participants reflect on the causes of personal stress and burnout and on their own responses to stress. They name ways they can take care of their own spirits and practice asking for what they need from a leadership group to help them participate with a full heart.

Some activities may evoke emotional responses. Be sure participants understand that this workshop focuses on stress and its impact, and that they are free to "pass" or excuse themselves from an activity at any time.


This workshop will:

  • Help participants honestly examine their own spiritual well being
  • Explore the role of leaders in creating a spiritually healthy congregational culture that encourages spiritual and emotional health in volunteers
  • Help participants recognize what energizes and what depletes them personally and help build their empathy for others', possibly different, experiences.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Name responsibilities and accountabilities they hold as people and as leaders
  • Reflect on their sense of spiritual well being.
  • Recognize differences among people regarding what energizes them and what depletes them
  • Practice asking the group for specific support that will make it easier for them to stay spiritually and emotionally healthy while leading
  • Consider their role in preventing their own burnout and in modeling healthy behavior for the congregation
  • Learn strategies to build/maintain a congregational culture that encourages spiritual and emotional health in volunteers.

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