it came in the mail almost 2 months ago. my very own “advance reader’s copy” of mad church disease. it was so cool… it had no page numbers. the table of contents just had “000″ written next to each chapter where the page number would be and contained a disclaimer to the effect that this isn’t the final final which made me feel like i was getting a top secret glimpse. when i got it and thumbed through it i was so proud of anne jackson. for a little over a year, her bloggees have been privy to the signing of the contract with zondervan, quizzes about our experiences and her word count mile stones. now, receiving this pre-release copy of the practically finished work, i think i can appreciate, at least on some level, the accomplishment of – - writing a whole freakin’ book!!! wow, congratulations anne. that must be some feeling.
anyway… where was i? oh yes, almost 2 months ago i got this book that i have been so excited to read. so what took so long, you ask? was it hard? was it deep? was it difficult to grasp?
no…. quite the contrary. it was one of the simplest things i’ve ever read.
no, wait! hang on – - this is a good review. keep reading.
the best way i can describe this book is that it is like sitting down with a good friend who will plant themselves in front of you and begin relentlessly asking all the right questions until you start spilling the honest to goodness truth about yourself. and, the best part? it’s not a “how to” book. i was so relieved when i at some point during the read i flipped over to the cover to confirm this little fact. the book contains no perfect prayer and no secret combination of activities that will cure you once and for all. no, this is a book that emphasizes identifying and owning responsibility for our actions and embracing the process of overcoming the messes that, on many levels, we create all by ourselves. i love that. i find books that try to spoon feed me all the answers, though probably inspired, are uninspiring. i’m a bright girl, challenge me to find my own answers. and, that’s what anne did.
so, the number one question people have asked me about the book… “can i borrow it when you’re done?”
sorry, no way, no how. the pages are dripping with a steady drool of my own honesty. the book didn’t take me so long because it was difficult to read…. it took that long to make myself write down the answers to all those questions. this is truly not a book you read. if you just read it you are completely missing the point and wasting your time. for people who have served in ministry for any length of time, there will be little to no new information in it. but i almost guarantee most people have never taken the initiative to effectively act on the familiar truths written in it’s pages. this book is tool you use to assess, and more importantly, identify what you need to do next to get healthy. i mean it when i say… it is perfectly simple. if she had made it difficult and deep it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective.
i believe everyone who even entertains the idea of full time ministry should pick up this book before they start. i would love to have had this book before i was in need of it… but perhaps i wouldn’t have taken it so seriously.
for those called to serve in ministry, we have a responsibility to be accountable for staying in the race. we are not called for the period of time that it takes for us to self distruct. our calling is for a lifetime. to succeed in this will take a little bit of effort on our part and a lot of loving grace and strength from a loving god.
thank you, anne.
now, quit buggin’ me
and go buy your own book