Last month I received an early edition of Anne Jackson’s new book “Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic”. I just finished it and here’s the short version of my review: If you’re in ministry, you need to read this book. If you feel like you don’t have any free time to read this book, then you definitely need to read this book.
Here’s the longer version: Anne writes about things that we need to hear. She covers a vast array of burnout causes, effects, and symptoms. She locks in on not only the spiritual health factors we deal with, but also on our physical health, family life, including both internal and external factors.
Anne’s personal story about experiencing burnout was frightening and encouraging at the same time. Many of the things that led her to dangerous places were the very things that are applauded and encouraged by church leaders, our co-workers, and even society at large. I resonated with this confession she makes in the book: “Since I had allowed spending time with God to be replaced by time doing things for God, my spiritual tank had been sucked dry.”
Anne does a fantastic job of helping the reader to set specific goals to either prevent or escape their own burnout. The book offers very practical ways to diagnose and treat the symptoms of “Mad Church Disease”. My hope is that each of us will stop justifying our unhealthy habits and listen closely as Anne leads the way towards balance and healing.