Mad Church Disease – A Review

Anne Jackson has quickly become one of the most influential people in the Christian blogging and social media world. Her blog at FlowerDust.net is among the most widely read and respected blogs around. Her readers have responded at amazing levels to her call to support children and projects through Compassion. In this, her first book, she asks, “Does working at this church interfere with your communion with Christ?”  Honestly, many of us in ministry would have to answer, “Yes!”

I appreciate that Anne writes from personal experience and shares openly about her joys and sorrows in ministry. Like many of us she was blindsided by a leader one day which ultimately led to her “resignation” from church staff. These situations are all too real and all to common in the church. Anne courageously leads us through a process of spiritual self-examination to diagnose our own spiritual health and take steps toward spiritual health when we’ve been hurt. That process is the heart and soul of Mad Church Disease and makes the book so much more than a rant about unfair treatment of church staff people. (Note: There is no ranting at all!)

Anne takes her readers on a journey through the valley of potential risks and pitfalls of ignoring the hurt and pain – isolation, temptation, poor physical health, burnout, depression, etc. – and walks with us through forgiveness, accountability, and rest. My favorite quote comes on page 181: “We cannot be dependent on ourselves and on God at the same time. When we consider the practice of rest unnecessary, we will also inevitably lose sight of the necessity of God.”

Mad Church Disease is a well-written guide to battling and overcoming church burnout and pain. It has helped me process my “blind-side” experience and to establish a path toward greater spiritual and physical health and rest. I would recommend that all those in part-time or full-time ministry (and their spouses) read this book! (Mad Church Disease is available at Amazon.)

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