Take Care of Yourself
Survive and Thrive in Christian Ministry
If you are in ministry for the long haul, this book is for you. There are no heroics in burnout. «Take care of yourselves» urged the apostle Paul in his moving farewell to the Ephesian elders. That is the key to effective ministry.
Pablo Martinez's purpose is not to make you work less, but to help you rest more and renew yourself better. As he observes, “We are not human doings but human beings”.
We need to rest, and to nurture our relationship with the Lord. We also need to guard time with our family and friends — and time to read and study and think. If we are stimulated, we will have a growing bank of knowledge and wisdom to bring to others. How can we fit it all in?
«They made me take care of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I neglected» (Song of Songs 1:6b).
Paul urged Timothy to learn this vital principle when he was still young. It contains one of the keys in Christian work: If someone in ministry is not all right, the quality of their ministry will be affected. In Christian ministries, it is easy to find workers who never think of themselves. While selflessness is a Christlike trait, at times we can push ourselves too far, leading to the paradigm of stressed and burned-out people. In order to love God and serve others, we often need to be still, take a rest, and be refreshed. This book will help Christians find the balance between ministry and “monastery”, between the urgent work of service and the place of rest and restoration.
Caring for our own “vineyard” - the talents, gifts, and emotional resources of our personality - is not only a privilege but a duty. It is part of good stewardship, an act of obedience as disciples of Christ. Far from being a sign of a more spiritual attitude, neglecting our own needs can be a serious mistake and even a sin.