I really enjoyed this conversation with Pastor Zack Eswine, author of the important book Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being. I would encourage you to watch it, especially if you are in pastoral ministry or hope to be (though it is applicable to all of us).

We talk about burnout—for example, the world’s definition of greatness as “large, notable, and now” vs. Jesus’ teaching of “small things, slowly, over a long period of time,” along with the temptation of pastors to pretend as if they are omniscient (know it all), omnipotent (fix it all), or omnipresent (be everywhere at once).

I tried to draw out why he thinks remembering our humanity is important, and one thing he said stood out to me: “When I’m holding the Bible to pray with someone, I’m doing it with coffee breath. Even if we have a revival . . . and it went into the night, at some point we still have to go to the bathroom.”

You can watch the whole conversation here:

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9 thoughts on “An Interview with Zack Eswine about Life and Ministry as a Human Being”

  1. Dave Moore says:

    I have read fine books on pastoral ministry by Piper, Lloyd-Jones, Stott, Baxter, Spurgeon and others. From the first 80 pages of Sensing Jesus, Zack’s may be the most helpful and penetrating.

    If you are a fast reader, my suggestion is to slow down your pace with Zack’s book. There is much food for thought!

    For the record, I love the book, but do not like the title!

  2. Winnie says:

    Beautiful. We have always known that being a human being is important, and that it is okay for Christian men and women to call themselves human beings. One day it will become acceptable to translate the Greek word anthropos according to its actual meaning, human being.

  3. Luma says:

    Wise, wise, wise, words. Thank you, Justin, deeply appreciate this.

  4. Jim Scott says:

    Zack Eswine nail’s it in this interview! Thank you for looking out for the pastor’s soul Zack. You are truly a pastor’s pastor without a doubt.

  5. Michelle says:

    Gospel truth. Very good.

  6. lydia says:

    Good article,I like your post,thank you for your sharing.

  7. Paul says:

    Thank you for this. Just bought it on Kindle. Looking forward to reading

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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