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Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being

By Zack Eswine

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Format: Paperback

Availability: Out of Print

Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being

By Zack Eswine

... Show All

This is a book about the behind-the-scenes reality of a life in ministry. It tells you what Zack Eswine wishes somebody else would’ve told him.

With over 20 years of experience in ministry, Zack shares with incredible honesty about his own failures, burnout, and pain, all the while addressing the complexities of leadership decisions, church discipline, family dynamics, and so on.

Presenting sound pastoral theology couched in autobiographical musings and powerful prose, this book offers a fresh and biblically faithful approach to the care of souls, including your own.


Zack Eswine

Zack Eswine (PhD, Regent University) is the lead pastor at Riverside Church in Webster Groves, Missouri. He and his wife, Jessica, have four children and are the cofounders of Sage Christianity. For more information, visit


Product Details

Category: Church Ministry
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 320
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 15.2 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-58134-969-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-58134-969-6
ISBN-UPC: 9781581349696
Case Quantity: 44
Published: November 30, 2012

Table of Contents

1.  Preaching Barefoot: Doing Something Great for God 
2.  Recovering Eden: Giving Ourselves to the Word, the Supper, and the Place

Part 1: Exposing Our Temptations
3.  Everywhere-for-All: Cultivating the Four Portions of Each Day
4.  Fix-It-All: The Inner Ring, Psalm Making, and Calling for the Elders
5.  Know-It-All: Walking through Decisions, Discipline, and Sin

Part 2: Examining Our Mentoring
6.  Physicality: Hearing and Touching in Ministry 
7.  Seeing: Praying for Illumination and Relating to Our Relatives
8.  Celebrity: Practicing How to Return
9.  Immediacy: Managing a Jesus Way of Time
10. Conversation with a Young Minister: Apprenticing with Jesus


“C. S. Lewis wrote that friendship is born when one man says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . . ‘ Many pastors will find a new friend in this remarkable book. What makes this book both approachable and powerful is its honesty—that rare treasure we pastors are sometimes afraid to make our own. Zack Eswine gives us a front row seat to his heart. In seeing him, we see ourselves. But far better, we also see Jesus in his all-sufficiency for us. To everyone who wants to serve the Lord with a heart set free from pretense, I commend Sensing Jesus.”
Ray Ortlund, President, Renewal Ministries

“This is one of the finest books on being a pastor written in this generation. I plan to use Sensing Jesus as required read for our pastoral theology students here at Covenant Seminary. The book is heart-wrenchingly honest about Zack’s own hopes and dreams and about the challenges of dealing with the praise that is heaped on a gifted young communicator of God’s Word. It is this rare honesty that makes the book a must read for anyone called to a life of ministry. Along with this painful and necessary openness, Zack has written not only with a practical helpfulness but also with a kindness of spirit about the follies, sins, and troubles that anyone engaged in serving others is constantly encountering. His careful exposition of Scripture is interwoven with unforgettable stories that bind the points he makes to the hearts of his readers. This will be an outstanding addition to the library of every pastor and teacher, indeed of anyone committed to ministry.”
Jerram Barrs, Resident Scholar, The Francis Schaeffer Institute; Professor of Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture, Covenant Theological Seminary

“This book is simultaneously deeply distressing and profoundly comforting. The rhythmic interchange between these two seemingly opposite impacts surprisingly convinced me that this is one of the most helpful books on pastoring that I have read since my ordination in 1978. Ruthless self-address and unvarnished vulnerability are here wed to searching exegesis and an obvious purposed submission to the text of Holy Scripture. . The reader of this work will likely find remaining neutral and numb to their own mediocrity a difficult task!”
Joseph V. NovensonPastor, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

“After marinating in Sensing Jesus, I have two responses—one of lament and one of joy. Where was this book when I was stuck in the unrelenting grind of performance-based pastoring; the spiritual schizophrenia of preaching the gospel of grace with a frozen heart; the lonely pedestal of a pulpit surrounded by thousands of people? But joy fills my heart as I realize what a great book I now have with which to mentor young pastors and preachers. Zack, thank you for stewarding your pain and God’s gospel.”
Scotty Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee; Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“In prose that is warmly authentic and deeply rooted in the wisdom of Scripture and a life well examined, Zack Eswine invites those who minister to pause and reflect. Eswine unfolds a lovely biblical vision of ministry that embraces the localities, limits, physicality, and margins of our finiteness that God deems good. Devotional, rich in insight, gentle in teaching, Sensing Jesus is also profoundly convicting in challenging us to embody what we profess to believe. This is not abstract pastoral theology; it is an understanding of ministry for all ministers, lay or professional, who find, perhaps to their surprise or disappointment, that they are human beings, body and soul. If you do ministry, please believe me: Sensing Jesus is must reading.”
Denis HaackDirector, Ransom Fellowship; Visiting Instructor in Practical Theology, Covenant Seminary