The whole story of how I discovered the practical power and punch of the gospel during that agonizing year is the subject of my new book Jesus + Nothing = Everything. The book is an autobiographical record highlighting how God helped me rediscover the now-power of the gospel in the crucible of excruciating pain.
In the latest issue of Leadership Journal, Drew captured the heart of what happened that year in an interview he did with me entitled War and Peace, and he highlights how I survived a leadership coup by finding rest in the liberating power of the gospel.
Here's an excerpt of one of my answers:
I was realizing in a fresh way the now-power of the gospel---that the gospel doesn't simply rescue us from the past and rescue us for the future; it also rescues us in the present from being enslaved to things like fear, insecurity, anger, self-reliance, bitterness, entitlement, and insignificance. Through my pain, I was being convinced all over again that the power of the gospel is just as necessary and relevant after you become a Christian as it is before.
When that biblical reality gripped my heart, I was free like I had never felt before in my life. It gives you the backbone to walk into a room full of church leaders and say "this is what we're going to do and this is why we're going to do it, even if it gets me thrown into the street."
There is a fresh, sanctified I-don't-care-ness that accompanies belief in the gospel. Whether you like me or not doesn't matter, because my worth and my dignity and my identity are anchored in God's approval. Christ won all of the approval and acceptance I need.
You can read the whole thing here.
I really, really hope and pray that this story will be an encouragement to struggling and discouraged pastors. I know that many of your stories are worse than mine. It doesn't seem fair to me that just because I come from a well-known family and inherited a well-known church, that my story gets told and yours doesn't. But I've talked with many of you over the last two years and your stories have encouraged me tremendously.
God knows how deeply grateful I am for all of you pastors who are feeling empty and all by yourself. Brothers, I am with you--side by side; back to back.