Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mad Church Disease Review

In November, I won a book that I was to read & review named Mad Church Disease -- Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic. The author Anne Jackson has a blog @

Although the book was specifically for people blessed to be serving in ministry, it really was applicable to me as I continue on my walk with God. I am not on staff at any church and have never been in a formal ministry role anywhere - but as we walk & grow with God we are all in ministry. To me, it was a great reminder about balance and remembering who it is that gives us our value. The book was an easy read but the material was challenging. What I enjoyed most about Anne's writing was her heart and her love for the Body of Christ that clearly showed through. It was refreshing to read & believe her words stating she would "never give up on the church".

It was eye-opening for me to see what many church leaders across the nation have to go through. It really showed me how much I need to increase my prayer, mercy & patience with those in ministry around me. The statistics on pastors & their daily lives, prayer lives, etc.... was astonishing and really quite disturbing. It made me want to do anything I could to help those in ministry around me.

Though the book spoke of many issues & past negative experiences she and others encountered while in ministry - it was not a book full of bitterness, resentment & a generally negative tone which would have really turned me off. The chapters that were most impactful to me as I move into more in-depth church roles were the chapters examining the risk factors & symptoms of Mad Church Disease. I also loved the chart of self-righteous service vs. true service.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Since I had allowed spending time with God to be replaced by spending time doing things for God, my spiritual tank had been sucked dry.

The fear of letting people down, especially in spiritual matters, can often cause us to feel obligated or pressured into meeting unrealistic expectations, or worse, spending more time doing things for God instead of being what God wants us to be.

A healthy environment is formed in the spirit of true humility. Humility that causes us to want to step out of the spotlight and take ourselves out of the picture. Humility that makes us desire to sacrifice our own need for affirmation and acknowledgement and to bring fame and glory only to the One who made us. Humility that not only puts God first but puts others in front of us as well.

Thanks Anne for sharing your heart. I really did enjoy the book! :)


Rebekah said...

I saw this book somewhere online not too long ago and it really got my attention. I would love to read it. After many disappointments, shocking surprises, and hurts in the church, it is easy to want to give up and hide. This has happened to SO many people I know. You've made me want to read it even more!

Toia said...

Sometimes many of us tend to look at our pastors or leaders in a sense as superheroes. And it's not intentionally.

However, they go through as many storms (sometimes worst and if not, more) as we do. Everyday pastors are pressed in the garden until they feel like they just want to give up. But they don't because pastors and church leaders know God's will must and will be done.

So as followers or disciples of our pastor(s) or church leaders, we must be their armor bearers. We must have their backs, always lifting them up in prayer, and be willing to work when there's a job that needs to be done.

Bottomline, pastors, bishops, apostles, prophets, evangelists are all human. And they are no way in any shape or form disregarded from satan's attacks.

Great post!!

Blessings to you as always!!

babyfordawn1983 said...

I think it is quite funny that you just finished reading this book. You know the challenges that we have been facing latley and it is like this book is something I should read. I focus on trying to get answers to my questions through people too much and not on Him. Maybe if I ask Him the questions first than my answers would be answered in a more direct way. You know what I mean?

Beth and Abigail said...

That sounds like a wonderful book. I would be interested in reading it.

We need to try and get the kids together soon.


Randi Jo :) said...

Thanks so much you all! :)

R - I emailed u in response

Toia - you're so right

dawn --- yes. it is important to go directly to Him -- we can't ever discredit the role of teachers, friends, peers, mentors in our walk. We need each other! :)

B & A --- get abigail to read it to you hehe :)

Anne Jackson said... Why did I not comment on this??!!!
Thank you so much, and I hope you see this comment...
Is there any way I can twist your leg into copying and pasting your review on Amazon? It would be mucho appreciado, my dear.
Hope all is well!!!

A. Amos Love said...

Is it possible the reason "Burnout" is such
a problem for today's "Pastor/Leader" is
they have found themselves with a
"Title" and "Position" NOT found in the Bible?

Did anyone have the “Title” “pastor” in the Bible?
Was anyone ordained a “pastor” in the Bible?
Any congregations "led" by a “pastor” in the Bible?

And every “pastor” I’ve met also had
the “Title” “Reverend.”

Does anyone have the “Title” Reverend in the Bible?

In my experience...

Titles become Idols.
Pastors become Masters.

Heavy weights on shoulders NOT easy to lay down.

Jesus taught “His Disciples”
NOT to be called “Master/Leader”
For you have “ONE” “Master/Leader” The Christ.
Mat 23:8-10 KJV

Ezekiel 14:1-7, speaks about "Idols of the Heart,"
and now God will speak to us according to
the "Idols of our Heart."

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall “hear my voice;”
and there shall be "ONE" fold,
and "ONE" shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice.
If Not Now, When?

Be blessed in your search for Truth... Jesus.