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You Lift Me Up: Overcoming Ministry Challenges (Martin)

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Christian Focus Publications

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It happens little by little. . . Even in the context of a very faithful ministry, a pastor may be at risk of a gradual-but ultimately debilitating-downfall.

Al Martin speaks from years of experience as he guides pastors to identify warning signs of dangerous paths:

  • Backsliding-a spiritual decline manifested first in the prayer closet.
  • Burnout-erosion of one's mental, emotional, psychological, and physical resiliency and buoyancy.
  • Washout-the loss of credibility among the people.

With sympathetic counsel, Martin probes into the life of the minister, addressing symptoms, causes and cures for these conditions. For some, these pages may prove corrective and restorative. For others, they may prove preventive.

Table of Contents:

1. What Is Ministerial Backsliding and Burnout?

Warning Against Ministerial Backsliding

2. Beware of Distractions from Devotion

3. Beware of Neglecting Generic Christian Duties

4. Beware of Trading Off a Good Conscience

5. Beware of Losing Your Own Nurture by Isolation from the Congregation

Warnings Against Ministerial Burnout

6. Beware of Priorities Shaped by Other's Perceived Needs

7. Beware of Studies Confined to Sermon Preparation

8. Beware of Hiding Your Real Humanity

Warnings Against Credibility Washout

9. Beware of Ministry with Neglect of Your Physical Body

10. Beware of Ministry with Neglect of Your Physical Body, Continued

Restoration of the Convicted Pastor

11. Five Closing Counsels to Remember




Albert Martin served as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, New Jersey, for more than forty years.



"The author brings to this volume a lifetime of Christian ministry, studious preparation and experience in teaching pastors... May this book transform and help to sustain many of us." - Edward Donnelly ~ Principal of Reformed Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"Satan attacks a pastor in various ways. Sometimes he tempts him to gross and scandalous sins. However, sometimes the devil sneaks in quietly. He distracts us from what is most important. He twists one good activity into an excuse to neglect another duty. He subtly appeals to our pride to make us act as if we have no needs or limitations. Al Martin's book exposes these dangers, and is eminently helpful to preserve a pastor for long-term service to the glory of God. I heartily recommend it for men aspiring to ministry, for men in ministry, and for all those who love them." - Joel R. Beeke ~ President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"We are thankful to have in these pages the wisdom and experience of a preacher to whom so many of us are indebted." - Iain Murray ~ Co-Founder of Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I believe it will save many ministries and spare many families and churches the grief of burned-out, knocked-out, and washed-out pastors." - David Murray, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"At a formative stage in my ministry I came across his messages on ministerial backsliding and burnout. For sure, I owe an incalculable debt to the truths contained in these pages." - Conrad Mbewe, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia