Every so often a great book comes out that is the latest ‘must have’ about ‘something’. Today I want to share about such a book for those who serve in ministry. It is so much more than just a good read, it could literally change your whole life! I devoured it. Page after page of the author being real, relevant, and transparent in a humbling manner. It reels the reader in.
I’m referring to the latest best seller from John Mark Comer- “The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry”. Odds are that most of us reading this post know at least one pastor/leader who has had to demit from ministry due to burnout, stress, depression, moral failure, or sickness. Perhaps we have been or are close to that place ourselves. We may be on a continuous loop of sustaining appearances, juggling diaries/year planners, preaching and leading, pastoring and praying, whilst never feeling fulfilled or on top of it all. Add to that a gnawing sense of guilt of not enough time to date your spouse, bond with your children, or even enjoy some time off for yourself. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Ever since I heard this quote, I have repeated it more times than I can count. “Jesus alone died for the church, no one else has too”. Yet something’s not working because so many are literally feeling like they are dying in ministry. Pressures, people, opposition, worries and fears, demands and deadlines, and not enough hours in the day, or even the night for it all.
At the time of writing, we are a week away from the end of the first month of this new year. How are you feeling so far? Tired already? Emotionally drained? Exhausted? Plagued by problems, over stretched, running from meeting to meeting? Perhaps you’re even scared to face the ghost like thoughts at the back of your head - ‘I can’t do this anymore’ or ‘I want out’. A pastor told me recently they wished they could work in a shop 9-5, 5 days a week, then go home and enjoy switching off and days off. The grass always looks greener I know, but the heart was confessing that anything looks better than a present reality of feeling utterly and constantly overwhelmed.
Living out the call of God on our lives is done so much better when :- A-We’re actually alive to do so and B - We are able to know God’s peace in the day to day rhythm of life and ministry. Something has gone so wrong when as a society we are living under the tyranny of time. We must take the reins of our own lives and get a healthy balance of living.
This book will help you not just benefit from the honest testimony of the author, but also form the wonderful solutions and spiritual disciplines he has managed to now incorporate into his life. Modelled on the example and truths Jesus left us to live by.
I’m delighted that John Mark Comer is still a pastor and still in ministry, that’s good news! He literally recalibrated his life. What a wonderful story that could also be ours if we need to get repositioned at the very start of this New Year. Over to you.