A Quick Tool for Assessing Balance in Ministry

Hear this, all people, and give ear, all in the world that dwell; Both low and high, both rich and poor; My mouth shall wisdom tell [...]

The last week of my life has been an unexpected vacation. Snow has immobilized Wilmore, KY, so most of my counseling clients have preferred to reschedule hoping for better weather in the future. I needed this break. I was feeling tired after being mindfully present for weeks on end with clients.

Yes, I love what I do, but my soul was yearning for a sabbatical. On the seventh day of snowy weather, I read the post, The Quest for Balance in Ministry by Dr. Tony Headley. It made me wonder: how balanced is my counseling ministry?

I decided to complete an assessment called Professional Quality of Life Scale (PROQOL): Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue. This instrument took about 10 minutes total to answer and score. My score provided a compassion satisfaction rating scale, a burnout scale, and a secondary traumatic stress scale. Turns out I am currently doing well, but I think I’ll keep a copy available and ready so that periodically I can take the assessment as a kind of preventive measure.

Those of us in the helping professions are prime candidates for having compassion fatigue run us right over and we never even see it coming. Let’s take care of ourselves so we can be there for others.

Curious about how you might score? You can access the questionnaire here.


Kathy has experience as an elementary educator, teacher trainer, adjunct professor, and has served as Family Resource Director for a major hospital. Kathy is a Kentucky Licensed Pastoral Counselor and is credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor by the American Association of Play Therapy. She is owner of a private practice, Path of Life Ministry, in Wilmore, KY.