Second Reformed Church

Monday, May 16, 2016

Review: "Zeal without Burnout"

Zeal without Burnout:  Seven keys to a lifelong ministry of sustainable sacrifice by Christopher Ash is a primer on the topic by one who knows what he is talking about, having suffering two burnouts which he describes in his book.
The key issue that Ash addresses is not whether ministry is a sacrifice – it is – but how to sacrifice yourself in a sustainable way.  How can we zealously give all our ourselves and NOT burnout?
Ash’s book is very readable and draws the distinction between ministers and God – because ministers often find themselves acting and living in only ways that God can.  To that end, Ash says there are four keys to a life of sustainable sacrifice:
First, we must get adequate sleep.
Second, we need to take a day of Sabbath rest since our Sundays are days of work.
Third, we need close, trustworthy friends.
Fourth, we need to understand that the Other Comforter indwells us and renews us.
Having grasped that, he tells the reader:
Fifth, we must avoid thinking we are and being considered celebrates.
Sixth, we must be confident that the ministry is worth it.
And seventh, we must rejoice in the grace of God not the gifts we have been given.
Each chapter has a story in it to flesh out the chapter, and the book ends with a list of suggested resources.
My doctors have reprimanded me for not taking good care of myself, and they say that clergy are the people who tend to be the least healthy people.  I would love to see this book expanded with more information and, especially, Scriptural guidance.
It is a good place to start – and words well worth heeding.
 [This review appears on my blog and  I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.]

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