Monday, March 28, 2016

Zeal without Burnout

Christopher Ash, Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice (The Good Book Company, 2016) hardback, 123pp

A really helpful practical little book which I imagine would be worth the time of most pastors and many others. It's not a hard read but it deserves thinking about. Ash suggests taking the time to seek to do a self-check.

Ash's advice is biblically and theologically grounded and born of long experience, both personally and in helping others. As well as being honest about being on the brink of burnout or worse himself more than once, Ash includes the moving and instructive stories of various other Christians. There is undoubtedly much wisdom mere.

Even if there is not much here that is new, the book is a helpful reminder and because it gives big principles as well as a few specific tips, it could have a profound impact.

Medical doctor and pastor, Steve Midgley, gives a short appendix on what burn out is, warning signs and practical steps.

The book goes something like this:

Distinguish between sustainable sacrifice and burnout
Remember that you are a creature of dust
We need sleep, days off*, friends an inward renewal
Beware celebrity / ungodly ambition / pride
Christian service is worth it
Rejoice in the grace of God not just in the gifts he may have given you

* - Ash calls this a Sabbath but doesn't get into debates about the nature of the Christian Sabbath. What he is talking about is the principle of normally sticking to a day off a week.

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