Burden vs. Load: Living in the Tension as a Coach

This article was originally published for Support Raising Solutions by Corrie Guckenberger. 

In Galatians 6:2 Paul says, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

This makes sense to our idea of biblical community.

But a few short verses later in Galatians 6:5, he says, “Each one should carry his own load.”

So, what’s the deal?

Are we to help each other, or is each person supposed to take care of his own stuff?

Looking at the Greek meaning helps us find the distinction.

In verse 2, “burden” refers to that which someone cannot take care of on their own.

The word translated “load” in verse 5 refers to a much smaller load- it is actually the same word used for a soldier’s backpack.

Each soldier should be expected to carry his own backpack without needing his buddy to help him.

But should a soldier encounter a “burden,” such as storming an enemy stronghold, he should be able to expect help.

And his buddy should want to help him.

This is where we step in as Ministry Partner Development coaches, right?

We are champions of best practices, statistics keepers and problem solvers as well as mentors and encouragers.

Each one of these roles is a gift for us to walk in alongside support raising staff.

However there are moments this load can become a burden if we don’t recognize the differences between our role, the role of the onboarders, and the role of Jesus.

Our Role

We offer help, encouragement, wisdom with tools learned and advocacy of support raising. BUT, we aren’t called to do their work for them.

We equip and train them, which is why every single one of our staff must go through the Support Raising Solutions two-day bootcamp.

We teach them how to do the work needed to accomplish their goals, but we don’t make the calls and present their ‘Asks’ for them.

Jesus’ Role

One more role we cannot take upon ourselves as coaches is the role of Provider.

Jesus provides through His people, in His way, and in His time.

Personally, this is an easier one for me to release and not carry, but in an effort to care for our future staff, I might be tempted to step in to meet needs they should be looking to Jesus to provide for.

I have found when I am in weary seasons as a coach, I have usually crossed some burden/load line.

I am carrying my own load and the load of the staff raising funds and found myself frustrated with those coming up in the ministry.

The sooner we realize it is best for them to learn to carry their own backpack, the better we are equipping them to help carry the burden of others when they are called to do so in full-time ministry.

Learning to release this burden of their responsibilities while keeping to my own load of equipping, training and encouraging has been hard.

One practical step I have learned is at the end of each meeting and/or each day, to take a moment and pray for the staff I am coaching.

I pray for the Lord to take what I am carrying and carry it for me.

He tells us His burden is light and His yoke is easy.

We will never go wrong giving to Him what He wants to carry.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

This article is submitted by Jessica Wood of Support Raising Solutions.  Support Raising Solutions is a Missio Nexus member.  Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

Related Articles

Welcoming the Stranger

Presenter: Matthew Soerens, US Director of Church Mobilization, World Relief Description: Refugee and immigration issues have dominated headlines globally recently. While many American Christians view these…


Upcoming Events