Sunday, March 15, 2009

Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro - reviewed


“Learning the difference between a concern and a responsibility may save your ministry, your family, and your sanity.” (p. 74)

Leading on Empty is a book filled with common sense ideas about living a life intentionally and effectively without burn-out. If burn-out has already occurred in your life/ministry, then Leading on Empty will serve as a guide to come out of the darkness that comes with emotional/physical burn-out. This book was written by a pastor for others that serve in ministry full-time, but I think it teaches a practical approach to living that can be applied to any vocation and to any believer’s life.

Cordeiro uses his own time of burn-out and depression to take the reader step-by-step through ideas and Bible principles that bring the right things into focus and allow any believer to live their lives RICH in family, their marriage and their relationship with God. I think it is important for the lay person to realize that pastors are sinners saved by grace just like they are, and that even though they are called to lead other believers, they are still vulnerable to human weakness, exhaustion and yes, even depression. Even though I am not in ministry leadership, I have worked closely with those who are, and I think they would appreciate the information and common sense ideas found in Leading on Empty.

Cordeiro encouraged leaders to focus on the things in life for which there is no compromise. The focus begins in God’s Word, and goes on to include taking care of your own health, your family and your marriage. I love the SOAP acronym for Bible Study that he suggests! (I actually do this myself!) S – scripture, write it down; O – observation, write down what this scripture is saying to you; A – application, make personal application in your own life; P – prayer, write down your requests/ conversation with God.

Leading on Empty would be a tool of encouragement to leaders in ministry and for anyone who works in a field that has the potential for physical/emotional burn-out. Ultimately, you must learn your own limitations and live within them. Then, and only then can you remain effective in the work the Lord has called you to do. I highly recommend this book.

You can learn more about this book and the author or order your own copy by visiting Bethany House Publishers' website.


A. Amos Love said...

Hmmm? senior Pastor? Leader?

Is that in the Bible?

Is it possible the reason "Burnout" is such
a problem for today's "Pastor/Leader" is
they have found themselves with a
"Title" and "Position" NOT found in the Bible?

Did anyone have the “Title” “pastor” in the Bible?
Was anyone ordained a “pastor” in the Bible?
Any congregations "led" by a “pastor” in the Bible?

And every “pastor” I’ve met also had
the “Title” “Reverend.”

Does anyone have the “Title” Reverend in the Bible?

In my experience...

Titles become Idols.
Pastors become Masters.

Heavy weights on shoulders NOT easy to lay down.

Jesus taught “His Disciples”
NOT to be called “Master/Leader”
For you have “ONE” “Master/Leader” The Christ.
Mat 23:8-10 KJV

Ezekiel 14:1-7, speaks about "Idols of the Heart,"
and now God will speak to us according to
the "Idols of our Heart."

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall “hear my voice;”
and there shall be "ONE" fold,
and "ONE" shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice.
If Not Now, When?

Be blessed in your search for Truth... Jesus.

Unknown said...

Yes in the bible it does... Though they are from different times they didn't use the term pastor. In the Bible Jesus himself was a Rabbi and he tought in the temple. Study theology and the genealogy. Several times, Jesus was called master by His disciples, as well as other Rabbi's.

If you actually dug deep into the word you would see that yes God is our ultimate shephard... but he called us all to be fishers of men making disciples as he had made disciples.

I will agree that some people take their "titles" thinking it gives them some kind of power, losing their humility.

But obviously in the "bible" era people would not use the word reverand, pastor etc. Just like we do not use the words "thou, goest, liketh" etc.

Times have changed, so does vocabulary. Do your research the next time you consider ALL leaders as big headed "title" holders.

A. Amos Love said...


Just wondering how "you" reconcile the use
of the word “leader” With what Jesus said.

Jesus in Mat 23:10 told His disciples “NOT”
to call themselves master/“leaders”
for you have "ONE" master/"leader” **the Christ.**

King James Version -
Neither be ye called masters:
for "ONE" is your Master, even Christ.

The Interlinear Bible -
Nor be called leaders,
for "ONE" is your leader the Christ.

Phillips Modern English -
you must not let people call you leaders,
you have only "ONE" leader, Christ.

Today's English Version -
nor should you be called leader.
your "ONE" and only leader is the Messiah.

The Amplified-
you must not be called masters ( leaders )
for you have "ONE" master ( leader ) the Christ.

Jesus told His disciples not to be
called "leaders" and NONE did.

Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ...

Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus,
the servants of Jesus Christ...

Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you,
a servant of Christ...

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God...
Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God...
2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant...

His disciples "all" called themselves "servants,"
NONE called themselves "leaders." None? None.
NONE called themselves "servant-leader." None.

If Jesus instructed “His disciples”
NOT to call themselves leaders
and someone calls themself a "leader"
or thinks they are a "leader;"

Are they a "Disciple of Christ?"

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall “hear MY voice;”
and there shall be "ONE" fold,
and "ONE" shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice.


A. Amos Love said...


You end your comment with...
"Do your research the next time you consider ALL **leaders** as big headed "title" holders."

Sorry - if **big headed** is what came across.

I too thought I was a special class of believer.
I was in “Leadership.” Oy Vey! :-(

When you believe the lie you start to die...

I have seen the dangers of "Titles" and “Position,”
of **Today’s** "Pastor/Leader."
“Spiritual Abuse” for both, "leader" and “led.”
IMO - The “Title” “Pastor/Leader”
is very dangerous for both.

In my experience with **Today's** “Pastor/Leader”
and having been in “Leadership” shows me...

No matter how loving, eventually...
No matter how humble, eventually...
No matter how much of a servant, eventually...

“Leaders” will “Exercise Authority” like the gentiles,
and “lord it over God’s Heritage.” His ekklesia.
That’s the beginning of “Spiritual Abuse.”

Pastor/Leader = exercise authority = lord it over =
“Spiritual Abuse” = always

I'm not not new to “ministering”
to those who have been “Abused” by those who
took the “Title” and “Position”- “Pastor/Leader."

Folks who are **burnt,** ** burnt out,**
** kicked out,** and **crawled out** of
“The Abusive Religious System” most call “church.”
With unbiblical “Titles,” tithes and offerings,
submission to authority, leaders,
and other unbiblical “heavy weights”
put on folks shoulders.

I also spend time with pastors,
“so called leaders,” who can't do it anymore.

Trying to please the denominational leaders,
the congregation and it's leaders, their family,
and of course Jesus.
Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

Serving so many masters, that's tough; Yes?

Preaching every week... and it better be good,
being the CEO, the team leader, councilor, marrying, burying, smiley face. etc. etc.

“Burnout” and “Depression” is rampant today. Yes?

One reason, I believe, is they have taken
a “Title” and “Position” - “Pastor/leader”
NOT found in the Bible.

What is popular is not always “Truth.”
What is “Truth” is not always popular.

“Titles” become “Idols”
“Pastors” become “Masters.”

I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul.

{{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}