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.
In the Logos edition of this volume, Scripture passages link to your favorite Bible translation in your library. With Logos’ advanced features, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “spiritual formation” or “leadership.”
“Learning the difference between a concern and a responsibility may save your ministry, your family, and your sanity.” (Page 74)
“Solitude is a chosen separation for refining your soul. Isolation is what you crave when you neglect the first.” (Page 71)
“‘I could, but it would only mask the real problem. You need to recharge, then reflect on what the trigger points were, and finally, restructure the way you’re living.’” (Page 26)
“‘I have found that after about twenty years, pastors of growing churches need to take a sabbatical because, like me, their serotonin levels are depleted.’” (Page 24)
“So what in the world do we do with something that concerns us? We intercede. We supplicate. We bring it before God in prayer and lay it at His feet—and we may do this a couple dozen times a day. Then the Lord says, ‘I’ll take it from here.’” (Page 74)
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
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, senior professor of psychology, 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