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Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Christian Ministry (Lausanne Library)

By Pablo Martinez
July 2019 | Review by James Chittenden
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers
  • ISBN: 978-1683071785
  • Pages: 80
  • Price: £4.99
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Whilst primarily aimed at those in full-time ministry, this book would be worth reading to help you understand the battles of those in ministry. It will fuel your prayers for them and show how you might be able to encourage them.

Several books and blog articles have been written on this topic in recent years, indicating a growing awareness of the pressure and the imbalance of priorities for those in ministry. Though this offering doesn’t particularly add anything new to the discussion it is a clear and helpful book.

It begins with the reminders that a faithful ministry is not the same as a full ministry, and that our identity is not what we do, but who we are in Christ. From there it progresses into a punchy and practical book. Much of the time is spent giving pointers to assist in identifying where the pressure points are for those in ministry.

Something that appears to be key in Martinez’s thinking is the concern of resting too little—though the resting he means might not be the holiday often held in mind. It is rightly pointed out that rest is needed, and guilt should not prevent it. He closes with the reminder that the essence of rest lies in resting in God.

A good portion is spent reminding of the importance of family, friends, nature, books and church in refreshing our hearts for ministry. These are not sufficient alone but are graces used by God to care for his servants. Obviously the most essential area to be developed to survive in ministry is one’s personal relationship with God. He alone meets our greatest need: salvation through Jesus.

James Chittenden