Joyful Perseverance: Staying Fresh through the Ups and Downs of Ministry

By Ajith Fernando, Foreword by Thomas R. Schreiner

... Show All

Joyful Perseverance: Staying Fresh through the Ups and Downs of Ministry

By Ajith Fernando, Foreword by Thomas R. Schreiner

... Show All

How to Remain Joyful about Ministry Despite Inevitable Challenges

Life in ministry is not detached from disappointment. Threats to one’s integrity, harmful expectations from celebrity culture, and the tendency toward loneliness, insecurity, and pain can put a strain on ministry leaders. How can they remain faithful to their work for Christ’s kingdom without letting bitterness seep in?  

Joyful Perseverance encourages ministry leaders to rely on God’s grace to find joy, energy, and the freshness to serve well, despite inevitable disappointments. It offers practical ways to combat the negative effects of ministry such as embracing God’s joy-giving presence, guarding one’s integrity, leaning into one’s God-given identity, groaning with God, settling sin issues through repentance and forgiveness, cultivating friends, and more. By adopting a life of thanksgiving, readers will experience abundant joy, resulting in an ongoing passion for ministry.

  • Written to Pastors, Elders, and Ministry Leaders: Intended to help people joyfully stay in their ministry role despite discouragement and struggle
  • Empathetic: Written by veteran ministry leader Ajith Fernando, this book addresses the inevitable difficulties presented to ministry leaders 
  • Concise: This short format makes this book practical and accessible for busy leaders
  • Foreword by Thomas R. Schreiner


Ajith Fernando

Ajith Fernando (ThM, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the teaching director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka after serving as the ministry's national director for thirty-five years. He and his wife, Nelun, are active in a church ministering primarily to the urban poor, and his ministry includes counseling and mentoring younger staff and pastors. He is the author of twenty-one books published in twenty-four languages. Ajith lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with his wife, and they have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Product Details

Title: Joyful Perseverance
Subtitle: Staying Fresh through the Ups and Downs of Ministry
Published: July 16, 2024
ISBN-10: 1-4335-9376-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-9376-5
Retail Price: $17.99
Binding: Paperback
Trim: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Page Count: 176

Table of Contents

Bible Translations

Chapter 1: What Do We Mean by Freshness?
Chapter 2: It Is All of Grace
Chapter 3: Strength for Energy-Sapping Ministry
Chapter 4: Thanksgiving and Joy
Chapter 5: Three Reasons for Joy
Chapter 6:  When I Don’t Feel Joy
Chapter 7: The Reality of Frustration
Chapter 8: Groaning and Lament
Chapter 9: The God Who Groans
Chapter 10: Refreshment through Prayer
Chapter 11: Battling Insecurity
Chapter 12: Guarding Our Integrity
Chapter 13: Conscience: Others’ and Ours
Chapter 14: Contentment in a Celebrity Culture
Chapter 15: Innovation, Growth, Excellence, and God’s Glory
Chapter 16: Refreshment through Our Call and the Scriptures
Chapter 17: Grace through Friends
Chapter 18: Friends in Times of Need



“What a lovely little book! I have a few books like this in my library that I return to often, so it is a delight to add to that collection this gentle encouragement to have a refreshing life, or maybe a life that is constantly being refreshed. Ajith Fernando will encourage you with his wisdom, from a lifetime on the front lines. I’m thankful for this gift to weary Christians.”
Paul E. Miller, author, A Praying Life; J-Curve; and A Praying Church

Joyful Perseverance is a gift that beautifully arises out of Ajith Fernando’s reflections on over forty years of Christian ministry. As it turns out, our ministries are not sustained by career advancements, titles, or platform opportunities. Rather, we persevere through union with Christ who grants us the deeper gifts of grace and gratitude in the midst of times of sorrow and lament. This book is a treasure for those who long for a ministry that is punctuated not by burnout and despair but instead by joyful perseverance in the presence of Christ.”
Timothy C. Tennent, President and Professor of World Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary

“In Joyful Perseverance, Ajith Fernando describes what it means to live out the gospel in demanding times and dangerous places. This is a huge gift to us all. For over four decades, Fernando and I have journeyed together in ministry, which has given me the opportunity to know that what you read in this remarkable text has been tested. Fernando has been relentless in finding life and inspiration in the God he loves and serves. Now we in our own moments of trials and wanderings can join with him in discovering those sources of joy which give life to carry on.”
Brian C. Stiller, global ambassador, The World Evangelical Alliance

“My pastor once told me to choose a book by its author, and that advice has proved to be wise counsel. Ajith Fernando is someone I want to learn from, and in Joyful Perseverance, the allure of the subject combines with the authenticity of the author to make this book irresistible.”
Colin Smith, Senior Pastor, The Orchard, Arlington Heights, Illinois; Founder and Bible Teacher, Open the Bible

“Finishing well is perhaps the greatest desire, and the greatest challenge, in the life of any Christian leader. In Joyful Perseverance, Ajith Fernando distills over forty years of leadership experience to produce a volume of extraordinary biblical insight and practical wisdom for finishing well. Having known Fernando for over four decades as my mentor and friend, I’m thrilled that countless others can now benefit from the wisdom of a remarkable leader, whose authenticity and consistency some of us have been privileged to see up close and personally.”
Ivor Poobalan, Principal, Colombo Theological Seminary; Cochair, Theology Working Group, Lausanne Movement

“I love Ajith Fernando! His example of over forty years of joyful, sacrificial perseverance inspires me. God has enabled him to document his own experience of God’s grace in a way that invites readers to experience that grace afresh and to let it heal our wounds. Fernando, enabled by the Holy Spirit, sees the pastoral dimension of biblical texts that both diagnose and treat the perils that keep us from abiding in God’s grace. In addition to scriptural insights and candid recollections of his own shortcomings, Fernando, ever the reader, fills his pages with maxims and nuggets from the faithful, adding his own hard-won insights. With many words of wisdom, Fernando skillfully plies his trade as a physician of the soul and draws us back to our gracious God. Read it and rejoice; let the living Lord, our triune God, enable you to persevere.”
Greg R. Scharf, Professor Emeritus of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Ajith Fernando is a remarkably gifted pastor and teacher, with considerable charisma. But what I love most in him is his deep and holy commitment to honor God. This book offers a window into his heart.”
Tim Stafford, author