Busyness, over commitment and pressure take their inevitable toll. Emotional, physical, relational and spiritual depletion lead to burnout, a clinical condition with a long, hard road to recovery.
Unfulfilled dreams, discouragement and disillusionment lead the person to either leaving their area of ministry to engage in a different occupation, or continuing their ministry role but with little heart or energy for it, often finding personal fulfilment in a peripheral area of ministry that eventually becomes central.
The person reaches a plateau and, for whatever reason, stops growing as a leader.
Fuelled by unmet emotional needs and over commitments, the leader succumbs to escapist sin in a desire to meet the increasin sense of hollowness within.
With a growing uncertainty about the focus of their ministry, the leader dabbles in an ever-widening array of activities. Often gifted in many areas, they may be competent for most of the tasks, but the lack of focus leaves a rising sense of dissatisfaction.
James Lawrence, Growing Leaders – Cultivating Discipleship for Yourself and Others (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004), 30-31.