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Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion Paperback – April 1, 2010
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From the Inside Flap
Are You Leading on Empty? It was a balmy California evening. I had gone for a jog before I was to speak at a leadership conference. I still can't recall how I got there, but I found myself sitting on a curb weeping uncontrollably. I couldn't tell if it took place suddenly or gradually, but I knew something had broken inside. I remember lifting my trembling hands and asking out loud, "What in the world is happening to me?" I had been leading on empty. That incident began a three-year odyssey I could never have imagined. It was a journey through a season of burnout and re-calibration that would radically change my lifestyle, my values, my goals, and even adjust my calling. Are you leading on empty? If you're a church or ministry leader, you probably identify with Wayne Cordeiro's experience of being overwhelmed by the demands of ministry. At times you may find yourself depleted of energy and longing to escape the constant pressure. In Leading on Empty, Wayne Cordeiro candidly shares his experience with the hope that it will encourage others headed down the same path. He was able to get back in touch with his life, get back in proper balance, and allow God to reenergize his spirit in a way that propelled him forward to greater levels of service. Learn from his experience how you can continue a fruitful ministry. Better yet, take advantage of Wayne's helpful advice early on and avoid burnout altogether. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Don't Let Burnout Get the Best of You "This is a must-read for all leaders. God often calls us to lead smarter, not harder, for the sake of His kingdom. We can all learn from a veteran leader like Wayne Cordeiro as he shares his decades of experience in this book." --Bill Hybels Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church Chairman of the Board, Willow Creek Association "Having experienced burnout personally earlier in my career I can attest to all Wayne has written, and especially to the fact that out of such a fire can come spiritual growth and maturity. I particularly want to encourage young pastors and Christian leaders who are just starting out in their ministries to devour this book and follow its wise counsel." --Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., FPPR. Senior Professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary "Sooner or later, we all find ourselves trying to lead on empty. It's a tough place to be. But the wisdom, transparency, and godly advice Wayne offers in these pages can spare us the grief. He shows how to keep the tank from running dry--or how to refill it if it's gone empty. If you're in ministry, you need to read this book." --Larry Osborne Senior Pastor, North Coast Church, Vista CA "I strongly recommend Leading on Empty to any church planter, seasoned minister, or emerging leader. This book will help protect your flame and passion for ministry until we all reach our God-intended purpose and destiny." --Talo Sataraka Senior Pastor, New Hope Tokyo Director, New Hope Japan and Asia Association --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Then I took the author's advice to heart.
I cleaned my home office from top to bottom so my brain could think, I prayed daily about where God would take my ministry, I cut back on busy work, and started spending more quiet time with the Lord simply trying to listen.
I took a second look at my passions and the purpose for going into ministry in the first place. And in just four months I have gotten back to what my passions truly are -- -- speaking and writing. In fact, I have just completed my first book in a couple of years.
The author felt like a who understood without condemnation. His willingness to show his own weaknesses and vulnerabilities made me feel like what I was going through was normal.
Not only has his advice helped me personally, but it has made my ministry for those with chronic illness more focused so that many have benefited in the end.
This will become one of those top 10 books in my life but literally changed my life.
Some reviewers have labeled this book "unremarkable" or "not satisfying." I would have to say that if this book is considered unremarkable to you, then perhaps you are just not in that place yet where you are fully burnt out.
When I read the title, I was excited. Not so much when I read the book. I feel there is a great need for something in this space. I had very high expectations and maybe that wasn't fair. I expected something thought provoking and possibly potential solutions. I am not sure being prescribed an anti depressant and/or taking 6 months off work, is really what I was looking for. I don't feel either is practical for most people who find themselves in this situation.
I still think there is a need for some good advice to people who are Leading on Empty. From the void we have in most leadership positions, the best thing we could do is RECOGNIZE when we are leading on empty. Once we acknowledge this, maybe we can start finding some real solutions to the issue.
As for the recommendations made in this book, well they just didn't appeal to me at all. I wanted to like it, I just couldn't. I found myself being even more discouraged at the thought that there wasn't any advice about how to overcome this situation. This is just my opinion and not everyone will agree. That's what makes everything, especially leadership so challenging in today's world!
90 percent feel they're inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands. * 25 percent of pastors' wives see their husband's work schedule as a source of conflict. * Those in ministry are equally likely to have their marriage end in divorce as general church members. * The clergy has the second highest divorce rate among all professions. * 80 percent of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse. * 56 percent of pastors' wives say that they have no close friends. * 45 percent of pastors' wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout. * 52 percent of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family's well-being and health. * 45.5 percent of pastors say that they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry. * 70 percent do not have someone they consider a close friend."
Such are the statistics which Wayne Cordeiro quotes near the beginning of his book. Statistics which are both, simultaneously frightening and not surprising. Pastoral ministry is a privilege, honor and a blessing, but it is also tough. It is demanding. And, unless ministers are wise and aware, it can destroy us, and our families.
Cordeiro himself came close to being destroyed by ministry. His own journey through burnout, depression and `leading on empty' is the foundation of this book.
Cordeiro has produced a book that should be on the book shelf of every seminary student and pastor. Knowing how to manage yourself and the demands of ministry is so important. Knowing what God has called you to do and to live intentionally in that calling; willing to delegate and assign tasks that others can do and when to take time out, and away, to be with God and to seek him. What are your priorities in the limited hours of a day and how you must make time for family and yourself.
There is some wonderful wisdom in this book; wisdom we as ministers should chew on:.
"A leader's greatest asset is not necessarily time. It is energy. A person with energy can accomplish more in four hours than another would in four days."
"[My] Number One [priority] Is My Daily Devotions."
"Steward your energy well, and in seasons of dismay, you will still have enough of a reservoir to lead."
"Healthy marriages require intentionality and planned investment. So will your waistline, your family, your ministry, your faith, and your emotional health. The Scriptures exhort us to "run in such a way that you may win" (1 Corinthians 9:24). It is not automatic."
I thoroughly recommend this work.