Original Research

Burnout and engagement of reformed church ministers

Chenelle Buys, Sebastiaan Rothmann
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 36, No 1 | a825 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v36i1.825 | © 2010 Chenelle Buys, Sebastiaan Rothmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 March 2009 | Published: 17 June 2010

About the author(s)

Chenelle Buys, North-West University, South Africa
Sebastiaan Rothmann, North-West University - Vanderbijlpark Campus, South Africa

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Orientation: The ministry is one occupation where burnout is increasingly considered to be a consequence of the problems with which ministers have to cope. However, few studies focused on the positive antipode of a minister’s work.

Research purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of job-demands and job-resources on ministers’ burnout and engagement. Congregational commitment and health were included as possible consequences of burnout and engagement.

Motivation for the study: Ministers’ well-being has become an important topic for both researchers and practitioners.

Research design, approach and method: A survey design with a non-probability, purposive voluntary sample of 115 ministers was used. The Job-Demands–Resources Questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory, Work Engagement Scale, General Health Questionnaire, and Congregational Commitment Scale were administered.

Main findings: Regression analysis indicated that the pace, amount of work and emotional demands were indicators of burnout while growth opportunities, social support and job significance were indicators of engagement. Furthermore, it was found that exhaustion predicted somatic symptoms and depression, while mental distance predicted depression. Engagement predicted social functioning and affective commitment.

Practical implications: Interventions should be implemented to help ministers deal more effectively with any burnout symptoms experienced in order to prevent ministers who are already showing signs of burnout from getting sick to increase their engagement and to rehabilitate individuals who are ill as a result of the work place.

Contribution: The study contributes to knowledge regarding the effects of job-demands and resources on the well-being of ministers.


well-being; stress; ministers; engagement; commitment


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