By Christopher Ash
In Zeal without Burnout, Christopher Ash does a very good job showing how giving our all for the Lord also includes taking care of ourselves the best that we can.
Ash takes seven principles that come from Biblical truth about who we are as human beings and who God is and applies them to our service to our God. Burnout often comes when we forget we are creatures and don't take care of ourselves. Ash reminds us that we are dust (Gen. 2:7; Ps 90:3) and we are not God. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But he makes the case that this is precisely why people burnout in the service of the Lord. If we don't wisely and Scripturally take care of our bodies, minds, and souls, we can run ourselves into the ground. Ash makes the case that we need sleep, Sabbaths, friends, and food (taking care of ourselves physically) which will allow us to give, serve, and work hard for the glory of God.
The book is mercifully short. Not because it is bad or that there isn't more to say, but because this book will help one who is either on the brink or in the midst of burnout. It gives you principles to consider for further reflection.
This is not an excuse for laziness, nor for men to excuse spiritual weakness. The fear of burnout is not an excuse to not work hard. Ash shows how sacrificial hard work differs from a lifestyle of destructive neglect. By not taking care of ourselves, we loose the ability to serve others.
The only fault I have is that this book, like most ministerial books, deal with the full time pastor. I would love to have some contributions for the bi-vocational pastor. Some tips and suggestions for the tent-makers would be helpful.
Thanks to Cross Focused Media for the review copy.