I picked up Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic by Anne Jackson a few weeks ago and let me just say this….
This book ROCKS!
But let me tell you a little more about it and the author. Anne Jackson blogs at FlowerDust.net and this is her first book. She's a gifted author and storyteller. The book is filled with statistics and stories and it works well.
Don't let the statistics scare you (like they do me) because she uses stories to make the stats come alive. But back to Anne and her book. Anne has a heart for unity in the church and when I read the book excerpt I knew I had to have it. It's almost like she was writing straight to me, and I love how God just used her words to minister to my spirit and to tell me to get off my fanny!
I raced out that very day and picked up the book. I got it home , started flipping through pages and thought ‘Oh, this is for people in ministry — staff people, not people like me who serve in a local body.'
Oh well. I sat the book aside for about three minutes and I remembered that excerpt — this woman has something for me, I can feel it in my bones.
I picked the book back up and started reading. Oh my! The heart of Anne Jackson is mind-boggling . She has a heart to see the church come together (Please Lord let it be). She has a vision for unity among believers (Lord, let it be!) She has a heart to reach out and she has the courage to live out loud in ministry — not an easy thing to do.
This book isn't just about pastors and ministry leaders, it's about the church. It's about the precious men and women who serve in the local church and give & give ; it's for anyone who's been hurt in ministry or in serving; it's for you and it's for me. It's about the leadership and the body of believers that allows burnout to happen. It's for everyone who follows Jesus Christ.
As I read the book and considered how I serve the Lord. I found myself wondering why we equate busy with successful? Why do we brag about our over-filled schedules, our incredibly long days, our lack of sleep, and our lack of personal time? Has society brainwashed into thinking that busy is good? Or is it easier to stay busy than it is to face all the other junk in our lives? Anne writes “We believe lies that tell us that our worth is in our productivity.” Yes. Lies. Our worth has nothing to do with how busy we are. Your worth is in Christ. My worth is in Christ. Without Him, I can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Another favorite quote from the book: “I'd allowed spending time with God to be replaced by spending time doing things for God.” Oh, my is she in my head and heart?
There's so much to talk about in the pages of this book. A favorite chapter of mine is 11 — Processing Through the Pain. The chapter was just where God wanted me to stay for awhile. The Trusting Again section is where I'm spending some time. I'm in that Trusting Again place. There are periods of time when I move on, but I seem to come back here. I know God is telling me it's time to move on. To trust again. And then I read this:
“People are afraid to be amazing.” Penelope Trunk.
Anne writes ” I'm afraid to be amazing because I'm afraid to trust again.” Oh Lord, is that me? Am I afraid to be amazing? Am I allowing the past to limit the future? Let me embrace it, learn from it, and use it to serve Your Kingdom. Let me be amazing for You, Lord. Let me be amazing in You. Lord, be amazing in me — because you are God, Almighty the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. You are GOD – the magnificient. And I serve you…. and that alone is amazing.
And I could go on and on, but I suggest you just buy the book yourself or order it here .