The below excerpt is from my book The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.
Don’t you love how Christians come up with acronyms for everything? There’s even one for how you should arrange your priorities in order to experience God’s closeness and joy in your life. You’ve probably come across it at some point. According to the acronym, joy comes as you put Jesus first, others second and third. JOY:
Sounds good, right? Sounds like a godly way to live. There’s only one problem: The acronym is wrong.
The J is right, of course. Without question, your relationship with Jesus should be your number one priority. The O and the Y, on the other hand, have always bothered me. What this acronym misses is the interplay that happens between you and Jesus as you put Him first in your life. When you make Jesus your highest priority, He goes to work refining you so that you come to look more like Him.
Choosing to keep yourself healthy — spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically — by staying constantly connected to the source of your strength isn’t selfish at all. Quite the opposite. Taking care of yourself with Christ, and giving the time to the ways He wants to grow you, is the very thing that equips you to serve your family and your ministry. Given that reality, consider arranging your priorities more like this:
- Your Family
There’s no catchy acronym for this new alignment, but there is power in its implementation. To arrange this any other way would be a disservice not only to Jesus, but also to yourself and to everyone who depends on you. Your strength, your growth, your peace and your joy come through your relationship with Christ. Out of that, you become better able to serve the people around you.
– Nelson Searcy
The above excerpt is from p. 34-35 of The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry.
Drawing from Nelson Searcy’s decades of ministry experience, The Renegade Pastor is a relevant, step-by-step resource for church leaders who are ready to step up in surrender to the pursuit of God’s best for his or her life and work.
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