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Someone recently wrote Leadership, "When I was young, I was filled with energy and joy, but now I have to work on stimulating them both."

In ministry, years and joy can have an inverse relationship. For most pastors, serving God will always be more joy than sacrifice. But the weekly-ness of preaching, the seeming daily-ness of criticism, the slowness of the change we see in people—can combine over time to diminish a brightly burning flame.

Two Christian leaders who have burned brighter and hotter as they have aged are Ben Patterson and Zig Ziglar.

  1. Ben is dean of the chapel at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and author of Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent and Serving God: The Grand Essentials of Work & Worship (both InterVarsity). He has served Presbyterian churches in California and New Jersey.
  2. For more than 30 years, Zig has been a popular motivational speaker whose books and products have sold in the millions. His books include Confessions of a Happy Christian (Pelican) and, most recently, Success for Dummies (IDG Books Worldwide).
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