What to do when you still love God but have been wounded by His people
As a longtime church member, pastor and planter, I read this book with my own baggage and expectations. Baggage as a person who has been hurt by God’s people and expectations as a planter in striving to minimize future hurts.
What I found was a book that doesn’t seek to change the church, or those who have hurt you. This writer clearly has one goal. To coach those who have been hurt to a place of greater maturity. A place where one can learn to co-exist with immature people in an imperfect environment and not be disappointed or crushed any longer.
Like a tough high school coach putting together a winning team, Mansfield pushes his reader forward. He reminds us of many past church leaders wrongfully persecuted. He demonstrates the disappointment of many in today’s church and even shares of his own shattered dreams. Then he ruggedly instructs us to get back in the game.
With solid coaching comes genuine counsel. I found myself surprised to realize my propensity to “sail above” problems in my church life rather than connect with people authentically. Escapism, denial, personal baggage, fears and our own lacking vision all are dealt with neatly. I doubt any reader could survive this book without beginning to see their own faults exposed.
Any good coach knows the secret to winning is not striking back, but in executing your game plan to the best of your ability and this author makes that plain. In the end we find exactly what we should have expected. The church may not change, but our expectations should.
I highly recommend this book to every pastor and church leader. For those seeking maturity in Christ I believe this book will toughen your resolve for the days ahead and help you to coach others. I do hold some reservations on whether the more immature believer will truly respond to the high calling this book suggests.
Some may want to keep their hand in the candy machine and refuse a walk to Emmaus with the Master. For this reader all I can say is “I’m letting go”.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for this review.