‘In the same way that we have a ministry, we also need a ‘monastery,’ a place and time to be still and to refresh our whole person. Our public ministry will be greatly enhanced if we learn to spend time in our private monastery.’ So writes Pablo Martinez, a Spanish psychiatrist with about 40 years of evangelical ministry experience throughout Europe.
This valuable resource was given to everyone who attended the 2019 Equip Conference of the Wales Leadership Forum in Cardiff. In the foreword, Lindsay Brown describes it as ‘a gem’ which ‘could be a lifesaver’ and I agree. Chapter headings such as ‘The empty pool syndrome’ and ‘Preventing mistakes that empty the pool’ show that the author recognises the weaknesses of readers who have the treasure of the gospel in jars of clay. The book ends with the key to the healthiest renewal of all, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’
Here are some memorable lines. ‘The problem is not working too much, but resting too little.’ ‘Many Christian workers are very good at ‘cooking’ for others, but they neglect to ‘cook’ for themselves.’ ‘Most leaders’ moral failures occur when they are incubated in isolation and loneliness.’
The appendix is a useful resource to help people who are troubled by their past. ‘Be at peace with your biographical baggage’ gives many relevant scriptures to apply. Comprising five straightforward chapters and 100 pages, this book is an easy read that could be helpfully introduced to a book club or a ministers’ fraternal.