Feelings of inadequacy for a called task.
Apparent lack of results.
Failure in an endeavor.
Weariness from overwork.
Discouragement due to weaknesses of temperament or personal battles with temptation.
No matter what joy or other benefits you derive from serving the Lord, the factors previously listed threaten motivation for and resiliency in ministry. I want to introduce you to a resource that explains and illustrates the Biblical principles that have sustained me for almost 45 years of vocational ministry (as a Biblical university prof, church staff member, itinerant Bible teacher, and trainer of national workers in 13 countries). It’s my new book, now available in bookstores or at amazon.com: Serve Strong: Biblical Encouragement To Sustain God’s Servants (Leafwood).
Every chapter offers a reassuring Biblical perspective, and illustrates it in the life of someone who was or is engaged in ministry. Historical figures whose stories dot the pages of Serve Strong include, but aren’t limited to, David Brainerd, D. L. Moody, Hudson Taylor, William Wilberforce, John Newton, Charles Spurgeon, and CIU’s own legendary professor, the late James “Buck” Hatch.
Robertson McQuilkin, former CIU president, says this about Serve Strong: “I can’t remember reading a more powerful book of encouragement for pastors, missionaries, and lay Bible teachers. Well-written, practical, fresh, penetrating—and a fun read! I heartily recommend Serve Strong for you, or as a gift for any professional or lay leader.”
Theologian James I. Packer adds, “There is a biblical counter to the discouragement that Satan foments among God’s servants, and Terry spells it out vividly and with proven authority. His book is a potent antibiotic for the Christian worker’s struggling soul.”
Pastor and author Stuart Briscoe concludes, “This book will go a long way toward convincing God’s servants that their labor is not in vain.”
I post this announcement of my book’s release at the risk of sounding self-promotional. But God knows my heart—the good and the bad in it—and I can honestly say that I want Serve Strong to encourage you and to honor His name. A number of times as I worked on this book, the truth I was trying to convey touched my heart and moved me to tears. If what I have written touches only the cognitive domain of readers, I have failed. I sincerely want Serve Strong to feed your soul, warm your heart, and strengthen your hands for ministry.
If you obtain it and God’s Spirit ministers to you through it, I hope you’ll mention it to others or get a copy for someone in leadership. One church has ordered 50 copies from the publisher to give to lay teachers. Another will get a copy for all the missionaries they support. Soli Deo Gloria!
In the next few posts, I’ll share a few more truths and stories from the book, as I did in the last few posts.
Keep serving strong!