If I had the power – and we’re all glad I don’t – there are certain books that I would require all pastors to read. Leading on Empty is one of them. It tells the story of Wayne Cordeiro’s brush with burnout, and it provides helpful advice on how to identify, and deal with, the signs of burnout in your own life. It’s geared for pastors, but is useful for just about anybody.
I had heard Cordeiro talk on this theme before, but it was a post back in January that got me thinking about it again. Justin Buzzard wrote:
Pastoral leadership can be draining work. Burnout is a real danger. I’m only a few chapters into Wayne Cordeiro’s new book, Leading On Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion, and I already commend this book to any church leader who’s experienced burnout, who’s nearing burnout, or who wants to avoid burnout (so, I commend this book to all church leaders).
I began reading the book on my weekly sabbath a week later, and it caused me to stop in my tracks. I tend to ignore warning signs when they’re not convenient. Cordeiro’s story was enough to make me want to take some of the warning signs I’ve been experiencing a lot more seriously. It’s not a book that turns you in on yourself in endless introspection, but it is a book that can point you toward sustained passion.
There’s also a chapter on “Finding Solitude in Sabbaticals” – a timely topic for me, since I begin a three-month sabbatical in June.
Enough said. If you’re a pastor and you’re feeling like things are slipping, and if you want to go the distance, then you’ll want to get this book.