Book review: Mad Church Disease

mad-church-disease1Last 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.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon by clicking HERE. In the meantime, go check out her blog and the book’s website!


The little lady and I are heading to Ohio tomorrow to spend two weeks with the family. I love it out there, especially when its cold. I’ve got a stack of books and my favorite Panera in the world calling my name. I’ll be prepping for a winter camp I’m speaking at a couple days after we get back, which takes away a little of the enjoying this studying-for-my-sake-alone vibe, but that’s ok. The theme for the camp is attached to John 10:10, which is pretty easy to get excited about. Ron Merrell is the one who asked me to speak at the camp, which is funny because he’s the best camp speaker on the planet and he could have done it. It’s sort of like Hulk Hogan tapping out of a match so that Steve Urkel can jump in. I love people who see the best in me.

I’m getting nothing for Christmas!

…and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Lindsay and I decided to skip buying something for each other this year, and sent the $50 each we usually spend in another direction. It’s not much, but it’s going a long way because of what Soles for Souls is doing.

I blogged about their “50,000 Shoes in 50 Days Challenge” a while back. The challenge is 35 days old, and as of now there have been 10,238 shoes purchased!! The seemingly impossible hope is that about 37,000 more pairs would be purchased over the next two weeks. But then again, nothing is impossible, right?

This week there is an anonymous donor that will match up to 500 pairs of shoes that are purchased. There’s also a drawing this week for a Wii that will go to the person who buys the most shoes.

Go check out the site and BUY SOME SHOES! Chances are that you’ll never even notice the money missing from your account.

Junky Car Club Rally


This Saturday I’ll be at the Junky Car Club Rally in Costa Mesa. Linds and I volunteered to help em out in any way they needed, so they’re putting us to work!

The rally is all about bringing awareness and support to families who are homeless. They’re collecting canned and/or non-perishable food donations to distribute to needy families.

To have some fun there will be a junky car competition, a DJ playing tunes, and some food available for attendees.

Check out the website and come join us on Saturday!

Here’s the history on the Junky Car Club:

The Junky Car Club was established in the spring of 2006 when Mike Foster decided to sell his fully loaded Infiniti G35 sports car to drive a junky 1993 Toyota Camry. As an act of rebellion against consumerism and with the desire to give more to worthy causes, Mike began to enlist his friends and associates to join him in this experiment of driving with less and giving more.

The Junky Car Club has signed up members in the US, Australia, Russia, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Singapore. So if you’re passionate about social justice causes and are committed to living a generous life, the Junky Car Club wants you.

Catalyst West Coast

francis chan

It looks like 25-30 of us from the Calvary team are attending Catalyst West Coast next April. I flew out to Atlanta to attend a Catalyst conference a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. There were something like 30,000 people at that one, and there’s supposed to be something like 3,000 at this regional event. Check out this cast of characters who will be speaking:

  1. Andy Stanley
  2. Erwin McManus
  3. Brian Houston
  4. Craig Groeschel
  5. Jud Wilhite
  6. Perry Noble
  7. Francis Chan
  8. Guy Kawasaki
  9. Nick Vujicic
  10. Catherine Rohr

And oh yeah, Hillsong freaking United will be leading worship. Those guys are 90% of the reason that I’m hearing impaired… (I’m not really hearing impaired)

I love conferences like this one. I love to rub elbows with people who refuse to just “do church”. I love that my team is coming out in full force because they don’t want to just do church either.

culture making

I’ve just started reading “Culture Making” by Andy Crouch, and on page 12 he says this:

“I hope friends will read this book and begin to envision their friendships not just as the companionship of compatible individuals but as potentially transformative partnerships in the places where they live, study, work and play.”

Anybody wanna be my friend?

I need a reading buddy. I recommend books to people, but half the time I get the “Oh man, I’ve got sixty-four books to read first” line. When they do read the books I recommend, they are usually grateful! Pastors are the worst people to read with… they (we) are all too busy to actually read something that doesn’t plug into their next sermon or bible study. I need a stay-at-home dad with no kids to be my reading buddy.