Stop Living for Jesus So Jesus Can Live through You

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Does following Jesus feel impossible? Are you trying hard to be a good Christian while secretly feeling exhausted and overwhelmed?

Las Vegas pastor Vance Pitman spent almost a decade of his Christian journey trying hard to live the Christian life. For years he tried--and for years he failed miserably.

In Unburdened, Vance closely examines the life of Jesus in the Gospels to reveal the soul-awakening truths that have set him and many others free from the burden of religion. With raw honesty and real-life applications, he helps readers escape the exasperating cycle of trying to live for Jesus and shows them instead the power of discovering the joy of a love relationship with Jesus.

Whether you have been a Christian for days or decades, Unburdened will outline for you what following Jesus is all about: relationships.


"Oh, the joy and freedom of the life of Jesus in us--joy and freedom that are foreign to far too many professing Christians. I invite you to read Unburdened by Vance Pitman and be changed forever by the pure, simple, and absolutely revolutionary reality that Jesus died for you so that He might live in you!"

David Platt, pastor, McLean Bible Church

"Vance Pitman is a brilliant leader and communicator. In Unburdened, he shares profound insight from the Bible, along with lessons learned the hard way in life. He shows how a deeper experience of God's grace can transform your relationship with God. You can walk in greater spiritual freedom, and Vance shows the way."

Jud Wilhite, senior pastor, Central Church; author, Pursued

"In Unburdened, Vance Pitman not only reminds us that 'works' don't work but also shows us what actually does. This is more than a book! This is a manifesto that will help you live life to the fullest."

David Nasser, pastor, author, and speaker

"This book is gold. Solid gold. It is like breathing a breath of fresh air for the first time after living in a world of pollution all our lives. Unburdened reminds us to stop working so hard, bound by the exhausting and burdensome rules of religion, and instead allow the life of Jesus to take over our own. Thank you, Vance Pitman. Thank you for this refreshment to my soul. Thank you for this book."

Thom S. Rainer, founder and CEO, Church Answers; author, I Am a Church Member

"The burning question throughout Vance's book is this: What does it look like to faithfully follow Jesus? It is of great importance that every generation answer this question and frame what this looks like within our cultural milieu. We live in a cultural moment that depends on how Christians answer this question and will lead to either redundancy or a revival of the Christian faith. I'm thankful for this book and know it will help you love God more faithfully, appreciate God's family more deeply, and be intentional with ministry in the world as ambassadors for Christ and His kingdom."

Ed Stetzer, Wheaton College

"Vance gives a fresh, compelling vision of the life of discipleship. He's not only one of the most effective pastors I've observed but also one of the godliest people I've ever known. His spirit comes through on every page of this book! You'll be challenged, convicted, and inspired as you read it."

J. D. Greear, pastor, The Summit Church; president, The Southern Baptist Convention; author, Above All

"I'm so excited about Unburdened and the freedom it will bring to so many in their walk with Christ. Vance Pitman has a real gift in communicating the simplicity of following Jesus. This book is long overdue!"

Pat Williams, cofounder, Orlando Magic; author, Character Carved in Stone

"I must admit that I had mixed emotions while reading the life-changing book Unburdened from my friend Vance Pitman. On one hand, I was truly excited for a book that talks about the importance of relationships in every believer's life, but on the other hand, I was burdened that I did not have a book like this when I was a babe in Christ! As a young believer, my nickname could have been "Repentance" because of how I messed up and asked for God's forgiveness on a regular basis. I was trying to live for God instead of allowing God to live through me. I encourage every believer to read this book, but especially those of you who are burdened with trying to do it all on your own. I assure you, this book will set you free!"

Fred Luter Jr., pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church; former president, Southern Baptist Convention

"Unburdened will serve as a readable and refreshing source of instruction for Christ-followers in their various stages of discipleship. Encouraging renewed and strengthened relationships with the Triune God, members of the community of faith, and others, Vance Pitman offers helpful guidance and direction from his own experience and his reflections on the biblical text. Many who are entrapped by legalism will find Unburdened to be a revitalizing resource."

David S. Dockery, chancellor, Trinity International University

"Every generation needs to be reminded of the truth about abiding and living in the power of the Holy Spirit. These pages are filled with truth about relationships. Our relationship with the Lord is essential if we are to live out our faith in power. Call it what you want--the victorious Christian life, the Spirit-filled life, or the Christ life--Unburdened will open your heart and mind to all God has in store for believers who simply take Him at His Word. Let the truth revealed on these pages unburden you from trying to be better. Let it liberate you as you embrace the joy of being a Christ-follower."

Michael Catt, pastor, Sherwood Church; founder, ReFresh Conference

"Vance is a gifted leader and preacher who has led many to find joy in Jesus and experience the free, unburdened life of following Him. I am thankful for Vance and his book."

Eric Geiger, senior pastor, Mariners Church

"Unburdened powerfully exposes Satan's crafty work in the deception of religion. Information and doing are not the abundant life Jesus promised. In fact, they are burdens that produce no true life or joy. This is a desperately needed book for the American religious landscape! Vance's personal transparency will set others free."

Kathy Litton, director of planter spouse development, North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

"What keeps most believers from living at the full potential God intended? For some it is sin. For others, maybe fear or apathy. But I am convinced many more are sidelined by the misconception that the Christian life requires much more doing from them than God ever intended. My friend Vance Pitman has discovered for himself and now shares with all of us some great news--our lives in Christ are meant to be much simpler! If more believers would put into practice what Vance teaches in Unburdened, their lives would be freer and more fulfilling, and they would also have a much greater impact on the lost world around them."

Kevin Ezell, president, North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

"Far too many Christians don't really believe that following Jesus means we have freedom. Too often, we trade the chains of sin for the chains of religious performance. Vance Pitman offers a clear, biblical view of what following Jesus looks like: relationship with the Father, relationships in community, and relationships toward mission. If Christianity has started to feel dull, boring, or burdensome, pick up this book and be reminded of the freedom Christ offers!"

Matt Carter, pastor of preaching and vision, The Austin Stone Community Church

"Pastor Vance has the gift of relatability. Unburdened highlights many of my own struggles in my Christian journey. As a professional baseball player, I am being judged on performance daily. Knowing that I don't need to perform for the King, just be with Him, is an exciting paradigm shift."

Nick Hundley, catcher, Oakland A's

"Many well-intentioned Christ-followers find themselves exhausted from carrying an unnecessary self-inflicted burden. This inevitably leads to a weak and discouraged Christian with little fruit in their life. This is why I am delighted that Pastor Vance Pitman has written Unburdened to see people unshackled and set free toward the powerful, biblical life in Christ. Within our current times and culture, we desperately need the church to throw off all distractions and diversions and seek the purity and power of the Holy Spirit. This book has the potential to do just that. What I love about Unburdened is that it is not only true but also written by a man who lives this out personally and has witnessed thousands of lives changed through this message. Mine is one of these lives that has been wonderfully influenced through Pastor Vance. I wholeheartedly, and with urgency, commend this book. May the Lord use it powerfully in your life."

Robbie Symons, senior pastor, Hope Bible Church

"I don't know about you, but I run into a lot of Christians who are exhausted, burned out, and demoralized. Maybe you're one of them. For many, life seems really heavy, and the church sometimes makes it even heavier. I know no one wiser and more equipped to unburden such lives than the author of this book, Vance Pitman, one of the most effective pastors in North America. Vance calls us away from a life driven by rules and regulations and toward a life joined to and enlivened by Jesus Himself. Lay aside some burdens and listen to the joy in this book."

Russell Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

"Unburdened simplifies what we can so easily complicate--our lives as Jesus-followers. Instead of wanting to live for Jesus, I now want Jesus to live his life through me."
Ryan Carpenter, center, NHL Vegas Golden Knights
"We say all the time that Christianity is not about religion--it's about relationships. But we still get easily caught up in all the dos and don'ts. Unburdened is a clear call back to a life of abiding in Christ and experiencing freedom to the fullest."

Dhati Lewis, lead pastor, Blueprint Church; vice president, Send Network

"If there is an inkling in you for something more. If you have found yourself disappointed by your immorality or morality. If there is the slightest hint that something is missing, this book is for you. My friend Vance Pitman points us to the only source of satisfaction--Jesus Christ--and winsomely reminds us that life is not about living for Jesus but about experiencing the life of Jesus lived through us!"

Bryan Loritts, lead pastor, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship; author, Insider/Outsider

"Unburdened is an honest, wise, moving, and loving message by my friend Vance Pitman. We will all do well to learn the lesson that following Jesus really is all about relationships! It is not about exhausting work to earn anything. Pastor Vance makes it clear that the life of a Christian is about the freedom that comes from allowing Jesus to live through us. Every person who is in relationship with Christ, or who wants to be, should read this excellent book. It will be life-changing."

Jon Erwin, director, I Can Only Imagine

"Life-changing! Soak up every life-changing truth in Unburdened to find the full and abundant life you're craving."

David Chrzan, pastor, Saddleback Church

The Author

  1. Vance Pitman
    Micah M. Ogle

    Vance Pitman

    Vance Pitman is the pastor of Hope Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, a church he planted in 2001. He speaks across America and around the world to inspire people to join in God's eternal, redemptive mission of making disciples and multiplying the church among every...

    Continue reading about Vance Pitman