Hand to the Plow

Sifted by Wayne Cordeiro

imageSimon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. Luke 22:31

Everyone in ministry hopes to avoid it, some even convince themselves that it might be possible that it will never be visited upon them, but sooner or later a period of testing will set in upon their lives. Some won’t survive and others will be permanently hamstrung. Some however, will emerge stronger than ever and into a season of greater ministry success. In Sifted, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro and his co-authors Chan and Osborne seek to build faith and spiritual muscle to prepare for the trials to come so that a greater number of pastors emerge from the other side of their troubles.

Though sin claims innumerable ministries each year, many more are weakened by trials that people are unprepared to handle. Trials claim their victims through weakened spirit, ineffective ministry and drained enthusiasm. Each of these can be avoided with the proper attitude according to the author. Cordeiro encourages the reader to prepare for trials and look for opportunities to grow spiritually while in the crucible. There may be repentance necessary, an attitude that requires change or work habits needing modification.

The chapters in the home work section are probably the hardest hitting. In the name of laboring for the Lord, so many in ministry sacrifice their marriage, children and health. The truth is that laboring to the point of exhaustion or a marital failure leaves the pastor with greater stress and problems than if the time away had been taken in the first place. The book does not mince words or tiptoe around the truth, which jumps off of each page. Tests and other evaluations help us to see ourselves in the paragraphs that we try to avoid.

This excellent book is not just for those in the midst of trials. Everyone will see them come at some point and it pays big dividends to be fully prepared for their arrival. Pastor Cordeiro opens his life as a warning. Read it and begin the process of preparation.