Zeal without Burnout

Seven keys to a lifelong ministry of sustainable sacrifice

from 11 reviews

Practical and biblical guidance to help enthusiastic Christians serve Jesus in a sustainable way.

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Exhaustion and burnout is experienced by many people who are involved in Christian ministry, sometimes to the extent that they simply cannot carry on.

Christopher Ash knows this experience all too well. As a pastor of a growing church, and in his role training people for ministry, he has been on the edge of burnout a number of times, and has pastored many younger ministers in similar situations.

His wisdom has been distilled into this short, accessible book, in which he reveals seven keys to avoiding burnout that flow from recognising our human fragility and the necessity of depending on God. His practical and biblical guidance will help enthusiastic Christians gain the mindset and lifestyle to protect themselves from burnout and serve Jesus for the long term in a sustainable way.

Who is this book for?
Here is Christopher's answer from the introduction:
"I write for all zealous followers of Jesus. Perhaps especially for pastors and Christian leaders ~ to those entrusted with pastoral oversight under God. Some of us have the privilege of being set free from other jobs to devote ourselves to this work; others combine pastoral leadership with “normal” secular work. But I write also for the many keen Christian men and women who, in addition to “normal” life (busy jobs, parenthood, and so on) labour sacrificially to serve in their local churches."

From the foreword by Alistair Begg
"Christopher brings to this important subject, not just a personal experience of burnout, but a keen eye to the Bible, and wise pastoral insight into the pressures many of us face as we live for Jesus."

Go to our Ministry Pack to get copies for £5 each when you buy 5 or more.

Product details


  • Introduction
    A neglected truth
    Seven keys
    1. We need sleep
    2. We need Sabbath Rests
    3. We need friends
    4. We need nourishment
    5. A warning: beware celebrity
    6. An encouragement: it's worth it
    7. A delight: rejoice in grace not gifts

Free extras


Contributors Christopher Ash
ISBN 9781784980214
Format Hardback
First published February 2016
Dimensions 128mm x 178mm x 15mm
Weight 0.20 kg
Language English
Pages 128
Publisher The Good Book Company

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Gary Millar

Principal, Queensland Theological College, Australia; author of Saving Eutychus

In this marvellous and much-needed book, Christopher Ash manages to warn, encourage, expose and comfort in equal measure. Every page is humane, penetrating, rich, wise and above all, gospel-saturated. This book came to me as a word in season from a humble brother (and the other brothers and sisters who shared their stories), and I am sure God will use it to do the same for many, many others.

R. Albert Mohler Jr

President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Books like this are a needed resource for the weary pastor. Christopher Ash draws on years of personal experience and rich biblical wisdom to provide ministers with a tremendously encouraging resource to persevere and thrive in the ministry. This is a book all pastors need to read and take to heart for the sake of their church and for the sake of the fruitfulness of their ministry.

Andrew Nicholls

Medical Doctor and Church Pastor

As a pastor of 12 years and no longer young, I praise God for Christopher
Ash’s self-disclosing cry that we are but dust! We live moment by moment as
frail beings given health and strength by our sovereign Father, but those
are limited by his grace so that we never forget that he is God, not us,
and that we are constructed so as to need him rather than to replace him.
May this book help us end the corporate church conspiracy to seem stronger
than we are, even omnipotent, and leave us content to keep being wisely
weak and daily dependent until Jesus returns.

Independent reviews

Burnt out Ash

Carl R Trueman, Mortification of Spin, 16 May 2016

What shocked me about some of the testimonies of burn-out in this book was how suddenly it had descended. A pastor goes to bed one night feeling buoyant and strong. The next day he is mentally incapable of facing work again, a condition which lasts for months. That is sobering. It made me take notice.... continue reading


"Wonderfully helpful"

Kyle Johnston, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, 11 Oct 2016

This is a wonderfully helpful book. Not complicated or comprehensive, but wise, personal, and based soundly on Scripture. If you’re feeling stressed out, burnt out, or discouraged in your ministry—God may well use this book to correct and encourage you to stay the course. Warmly recommended.... continue reading

"A book for every Christian?"

Tim Challies,, 13 Apr 2016

Those who read this book and follow its counsel will find themselves equipped to serve the Lord will zeal, but also in a way that can be sustained over the long-term. For that reason, this is a book for every Christian.... continue reading

Customer reviews

20 Aug 2021

“Fast service right from the start to when I received my book, will use them again in the fjture”

Fast service

13 Sep 2016

“A great book for the servant-hearted!”

Being passionate for the Gospel can so easily lead to taking on too much and burning the candle at both ends. Christopher Ash provides wise simple advice, and more often than not reminders, that we aren't superheroes, but weak humans. If you're an employer, employed or an essential volunteer; just thinking of serving or an old hand, this is a great book to read. Thank you Christopher.

19 Jun 2016

“Excellent for every Christian”

Such helpful guidance and advice from God through Christopher Ash. Even if you're not in busy Christian work this is for you. Just as a normal, everyday member of a church, this book is vital for you to read so that you can be helped and help others. Small enough to read quickly and pass on or even share in a study group. Thanks to God for inspiring this book.

5 May 2016

“Thoughtful and thought-provoking”

Christopher's main point - we are dust - and its implications are thoughtful and a good corrective to unrealistic thinking and hopes. It was good to be reminded that God is God and we are not (!), and therefore we need to attend to ourselves rightly and sanely. However gifted and/or godly we are, we are not immune to the normal pressures that weigh on our fallen humanity.

17 Apr 2016

“Simple but useful truths - recommended for all Christians”

A quick and easy read so please make time to read it especially if you have been living as a Christian for a while. Whilst it will be of particular relevance for those in full time ministry it is also useful for those who are not to help serve their pastors better and to be effective long term servers too. Why not buy the pack of 5 and give them to those you know in full time ministry as an encouragement?

15 Apr 2016

“Great advice for anyone wanting to do long term sustainable ministry”

I have read the book and bought it for all the crossteach team. Anyone and everyone involved in ministry (paid or voluntary) should read this book. It highlights the potential areas where good desires lead us to behave in ways where we think we can do more than God has equipped us for. It has really helped to identify areas in my own life where I am in danger of behaving as if I am superman! The honesty of the book makes it easy to be honest with yourself as you read it and the practical advice and examples make it easy to make changes where they are needed.
It is a great reminder of our limitations and I am sure my ministry will be more sustainable over a longer period of time if I am ready to make the necessary changes.
The real life stories make the consequences of burn out abundantly clear and something surely something we want to avoid if we can. Better to read this book before you burn out than become another real life example of the devastating impact of burn out.

4 Apr 2016

“For all elders and leaders”

Wise, gentle Biblical counsel to the weary and - importantly - easy to read. Whether some way down the path to burnout or currently feeling secure, this book will be helpful. It is important too for all the leadership team to read - to gain an understanding of burnout and to provide support and also
because it's not just paid church staff who are in danger. We want all our leaders to be zealous for a lifetime of ministry.

22 Mar 2016

“Helpful and quick to read”

Tired of being told to slow down, do less and enjoy my family by Christians that didn't seem to have an ounce of zeal or urgency for matter of life and death, I picked up this book because I knew this particular author would fully share that urgent call for the lost and yet was giving me biblical permission to pace oneself. Rather than being told by other Church members to 'sit back and relax' for reasons that always seemed selfish and worldly to me.. Christopher gives us the biblical reasons for not over doing it.. chiefly the case for being more useful to God in the long run and the idea that not to obey His commands regarding rest is in fact blasphemous, not heroic. With the characters like Whitfield, Hudson Taylor and Paul normally driving me on, it was helpful to have a zealous Christian advocating the brake pedal. I have also never before read a Christian book that give you permission to watch mindless TV dramas for a real rest (rather than always going to scripture for a more pious rest). That was a hugely refreshing touch, coming from an earnest conservative such as Christopher Ash.

16 Mar 2016


(Review written for 'Burnout: Ministry Pack')

A wonderful and realistic encouragement and challenge to keep running the race with perseverance; Christopher's book was a great blessing in the challenges of ministry and a healthy reminder of our human limitations and divine dependence.

25 Jan 2016

“Essential for everyone”

So clear, so relevant and so helpful. Essential reading for anyone involved in any sort of serving. Should be read once a year, every year as part of a sustainable ministry.

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Zeal without Burnout | Christopher Ash |