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Ministry is a marathon – not a 50-yard dash. It’s tough. You’re in an invisible war where all kinds of forces are conspiring to keep you from doing what God wants you to do.

A few years back I made a list of young pastors in America that I needed to be praying for – like others had prayed for me when I was young. Today, more than half of the young pastors on that list are no longer in ministry—either they had financial problems, marital problems, or just got tired and gave up.

Pastor, we need for you to last in ministry.

The story of Elijah’s ministry burnout in Kings 19 gives us some great insights into how the cause and cures of our own burnout.

No doubt you’re familiar with the story. Elijah had challenged the 400 prophets of Baal to prove who was real: Baal or God. And, of course, God won the contest! Everyone in the nation turned back to God.

You’d think Elijah would be on a high after that. But he wasn’t. Ministry successes can drain you just as fast as ministry failures. When Queen Jezebel…

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These past few weeks have been very trying. From deaths of people who inspired us to yet another reminder that we are not completely immune from the horrible acts of others, grief seems to be everywhere we turn.

Earlier this month, we spent a lot of time talking about mental illness here at the blog, in light of the sad news from Rick Warren and Saddleback. I spoke about the church’s response to this problem that is bigger than we want to admit, and looked at what others have to say as well. I did want to discuss more fully one issue that we can have a tendency to tiptoe around as if we are on eggshells–mental illness and medication.

Michelle Boorstein from the Washington Post called me that week, and she asked some penetrating questions about why Christians might struggle with this issue more than, perhaps, mainstream society. In that article she quoted me as saying:

Part of our belief system is that God ­changes everything, and that because Christ lives in us, everything in our hearts and…

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