Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic

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Overview

Growing up the daughter of a pastor, Anne Jackson experienced firsthand the conflict, stress, and struggle church leaders often face. She vowed her life in ministry would be different.

Yet, years later, as a church leader, she was hospitalized because stress began wreaking havoc on her body. After being released from the hospital, an associate pastor asked her, 'Does working at this church interfere with your communion with Christ?' The ...

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Grand Rapids, MI 2008 Hard cover First edition. 1st printing. New. No dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. 190 p. 21 cm. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Growing up the daughter of a pastor, Anne Jackson experienced firsthand the conflict, stress, and struggle church leaders often face. She vowed her life in ministry would be different.

Yet, years later, as a church leader, she was hospitalized because stress began wreaking havoc on her body. After being released from the hospital, an associate pastor asked her, 'Does working at this church interfere with your communion with Christ?' The question was paramount in turning her life around.

Thinking she wasn't alone, Anne developed a website that allowed church leaders to share their struggles. Within a few days, she was flooded with over a thousand responses from people pouring out their stories of burnout.

Using anecdotal parallels between Mad Cow Disease and leadership trends in the church, she writes not only to help us realize what church leaders are facing, but also to provide practical and positive treatment plans.

Mad Church Disease is a lively, informative, and potentially life-saving resource for anyone in ministry—vocational or volunteer—who would like to understand, prevent, or treat the epidemic of burnout in church culture.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Anne Jackson has taken the problem by the jugular and brings remedy. Infused with a lively and informative style, Mad Church Disease is a life-saving resource for anyone in ministry—vocational or volunteer—who would like to understand, prevent, or treat the epidemic of burnout in church culture. — Wayne Cordeiro, DD, Senior Pastor, New Hope Christian Fellowship, Honolulu, Hawaii, and author of The Divine Mentor

This oft-ignored disease of the church is compromising the overall health of the American church. We've all had a touch of it—some have succumbed to it. This book hits the nail on the head clearly and does so with hope. Every minister should read Mad Church Disease—not just once, but from time to time. — Bob Roberts, Jr., Senior Pastor, North Wood Church, Keller, Texas, and author of The Multiplying Church

Every Christian leader intends to 'finish our race well.' Yet far too many of us end up escaping into sin or becoming numb, embittered, and angry. Mad Church Disease offers all of us the hope that we can actually make it to the end of the race, loving God and others with greater passion and being filled with audacious joy. Anne Jackson writes with raw honesty and hard-earned wisdom from her own story of burnout. — Nancy Beach, teaching pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois

From the perspective of her own devastating personal experience, as well as by means of strongly researched facts, Anne Jackson opens our eyes to the crisis of ministry burnout. This paralyzing and contagious condition has wounded so many in church leadership. Mad Church Disease is a light on the path to healing and health. — Nancy Ortberg, Author, of Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

I cannot say enough about how important the ideas put forth in Mad Church Disease are. With refreshing humility, grace, and transparency, Anne Jackson reveals the realities of burnout and how we can avoid being infected by this vicious disease. If you truly want to thrive and survive in ministry, this book is a must-read. — Mike Foster, president of Ethur and author of Deadly Viper Character Assassins

The issues that Anne Jackson explores in Mad Church Disease are central to every church staff and every pastor's family. Having been both a church staff member and a pastor's kid, I'm thankful for her honesty and courage. Well done! — Shauna Niequist, Author, of Cold Tangerines

Anne Jackson is the real deal. And I appreciate her honest approach to a touchy topic. Mad Church Disease is a must-read for anyone who has gotten burned or burned-out by the church. — Mark Batterson, lead pastor, National Community Church, Washington, D.C., and author of Wild Goose Chase

My first thought: 'What does a twenty-eight-year-old know about burnout?' Then I read this story about a girl named Anne, who grew up in a pastor's home and has lived through enough experiences to know what she's talking about. Anne Jackson not only tells her own story, but she gracefully integrates principles that have me at times saying, 'That's right!' and at other times admitting, 'That's me.' As soon as I can, I'll be ordering enough copies for our entire staff. — Tim Stevens, executive pastor, Granger Community Church, Granger, Indiana, and author of Pop Goes the Church

Burned-out leaders are heading up the mass exodus out of the inherited church. Anne Jackson's book Mad Church Disease brings much-needed attention to the dark compulsions of celebrity-driven churches that abuse and spew out our best people. But it does more than that. It also offers hope through stories of survival, pertinent scriptural teaching, and the prescription of a balanced, healthy, holistic lifestyle that will ensure longevity and the kind of joyful service that leaves no casualties. I wish I had read this book ten years ago. My family wishes I had read it twenty years ago! — Andrew Jones, blogger at Tall Skinny Kiwi

If you're in ministry or thinking about going into ministry, Mad Church Disease is required reading. With grace and hope, Anne Jackson sheds some much-needed light on the dirty politics, emotional abuse, and physical burnout that are plaguing leadership in today's churches. Thankfully, Jackson's 'disease' isn't terminal. Her book will help ministers of all shapes and sizes pursue God's work in a healthy, passionate, and creative environment. — Matthew Paul Turner, Author, of Churched: One Kid's Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310287551
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Jackson is a highly sought-after pastor, author and speaker. She is an advocate for Compassion International and travels the country sharing about health and freedom at churches, colleges and conferences. You can read more about her at annejacksonwrites.com, twitter.com/girlnamedanne or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/girlnamedanne.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Craig Groeschel Groeschel, Craig 9

How to Use This Book 11

Prologue: No Pity Parties Here 13

Introduction 15

Pt. I How the Burnout Epidemic is Killing the Greatest Call

1 Comparing Mad Cow Disease to Mad Church Disease 30

Second Opinion Bill Hybels Hybels, Bill 43

2 The Emergency 45

Second Opinion Perry Noble Noble, Perry 59

Pt. 2 Am I at Risk? Examining Risk Factors and Symptoms

3 Internal Risk Factors 63

4 External Risk Factors 73

Second Opinion Mile Foster Foster, Mile 92

5 Symptoms 94

Second Opinion Wayne Cordeiro Cordeiro, Wayne 100

Pt. 3 Getting Better

6 Five Principles of Recovery 104

Pt. 4 A Path to Health and Recovery

7 Spiritual Health 121

Second Opinion Matt Carter Carter, Matt 130

8 Physical Health 132

Second Opinion Shawn Wood Wood, Shawn 144

9 Emotional Health 146

Second Opinion Gary Kinnaman Kinnaman, Gary 153

10 Relational Health 156

Second Opinion Brandi Wilson Wilson, Brandi 163

11 Processing through Pain 166

Epilogue: Resting in an Abundant Life 177

Notes 185

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    This Book Is A Must!

    I have now finished this book and I must say that if you can get a copy of Mad Church Disease do so today.Having been awfully close to burnout myself, including the recent past, I found this book to be a Godsend. This book is a must for anyone in ministry, leadership or just living life day to day.I found the book to be challenging and God used it to help me re-evaluate how much is on my plate on a day to day basis. I started making recent changes that have allowed me to clear that plate more and to increase my time in more important areas, like spending time with my family and the Lord.Warning: The book is frank and not for the faint of heart. It's for those who need to have a heart challenge!Read and be blessed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2010

    Quit reading this review and buy the book! :)

    Reading is a passion that I am getting reacquainted with. With having two small children, my uninterrupted time is rare. So let me preface this review by saying this. I barely have time to write about a book that I like so why would I take the time to tell you about a book that I wouldn't recommend?

    I first heard of Anne Jackson several years ago through another blog. Her realness and ability to tackle tough, "unmentionable" subjects with such grace impressed me. As I continued to read her blog, I was stopped dead in my tracks.

    "Does working at this church interfere with your communion with Christ?"

    *gasp*

    Had Anne been reading my mail?

    We're around the same age, both have grown up and served in various churches our entire lives. We shared similar life experiences and now.now, she was ripping scabs off of some of the most painful parts of my life. Thanks, a lot, Anne.

    Growing up, my family was very active volunteers in our local church. I began helping as soon as I could. Later in my adult life this led to being full-time staff for a local ministry and now a church planter.

    Anne's words came at a point in my life when I literally had nothing left to offer the church world. She was in the process of writing a book entitled "Mad Church Disease: Overcoming The Burnout Epidemic" and I was indeed experiencing burnout.

    "When we should have been fighting with our fellow believers back-to-back, we find ourselves bandaging our wounds from friendly fire. When we should be breathing life into a comatose world, we find ourselves gasping for air, just trying to survive. When we should be celebrating the gift of our friends and families, we find our hearts breaking for the way they are mistreated. A very real pain comes out of a very real battle each of use is called to fight. To some of us, this is a relatively new and shocking pain. To others, we've grown numb because we've learned to expect the worse. You may be taking your first steps into serving. Or maybe like me, you've been exposed to both the beautiful and terrible faces of the church for your entire life."

    Flash forward to November of 2009.

    I had the privilege to hear Anne speak at the Dirt Conference, a creative conference that was being held in Little Rock, AR. She had more guts than I think I could ever have but I felt as if I was listening to my long, lost sister who had gotten a hold of my diary and was exposing all of my entries to a crowd of my creative colleagues. After the conference, I rushed to buy her book and gave it a read.

    In Mad Church Disease, Anne brilliantly equates ministry (vocationally or volunteer) burnout with the symptoms of Mad Cow Disease. She speaks candidly of her experiences as a leader dealing with stress and struggles. Anne asks hard hitting questions in the "Exam Room" at the end of each chapter inviting the reader into introspection, repentance, forgiveness and ultimately, healing.

    This is a must read for every ministry volunteer or staff member. Whether you are currently experiencing burnout or if you've yet to feel it (because you'll more than likely feel it at some point) this book offers hope and gives voice to the things so many of us long to express. All I can say is. Thanks, Anne. Thanks, a lot.

    For more information on Anne Jackson, check out her website www.flowerdust.net and also be looking for her next book,"Permission To Speak Freely: Things You Can't Say In Church" coming in the future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mad Church Disease, Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic

    Mad Church Disease, Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic by Anne Jackson is a God-send, a must read book right now for leaders or anyone with a position in Ministry. This is the first book released by this author and a successful at that. It was published by Zondervan in February of 2009 and she is currently working on another book called "Permission to Speak Freely" to be released on August of 2010.

    This book is both a refreshing confession and a hard look at the struggles of ministry burnout, its symptoms and the dangers it can bring into the Church and the lives of its leaders. This book isn't just for Pastors. Burnout can affect everyone from the senior pastor to the worship team to the greeters at the door.

    In depth examination and reflection are the concept of "Mad Church Disease". Anne guides the reader into the different ways we all can be attacked. She shows us that our physical, mental, social and yes.spiritual health suffer when burnout is raging on the inside of us. Here is the great thing that I love about this book; we can read all about the problems and issues facing us in ministry, but this book is different. There is much healing to be found within its pages. Towards the end of the book, Anne dives into a practical pursuit of spiritual restoration, forgiveness of those who have wronged you and living life to the fullest.

    In conclusion, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I urge you strongly to get it, read it, study it and apply it to your life. I read the book in one day, I couldn't put it down. You will find yourself flying through the pages. This author, Anne Jackson is making an immense difference in people's lives today and mine is one of them. God bless you!


    Resources:
    www.madchurchdisease.com
    www.flowerdust.net

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2009

    Buy Mad Church Disease Today!

    I have now finished this book and I will say again that if you can get a copy of Mad Church Disease do so today. Having been awfully close to burnout myself, including the recent past, I found this book to be a Godsend. This book is a must for anyone in ministry, leadership or just living life day to day.

    I found the book to be challenging and God used it to help me re-evaluate how much is on my plate on a day to day basis. I started making recent changes that have allowed me to clear that plate more and to increase my time in more important areas, like spending time with my family and the Lord.

    Warning: The book is frank and not for the faint of heart. It's for those who need to have a heart challenge!

    Read and be blessed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Only Wish I Could Rate It Higher

    I'm going to bare my heart and soul a bit to you in this one. Recently, a member of our congregation presented unfounded allegations about our family's personal life to my husband/pastor. It nearly pushed me under spiritually.<BR/><BR/>I wanted so badly to walk away from church, ministry, people...everything but Jesus. I didn't, but it is only because of God's grace, sufficiency and mercy that I didn't.<BR/><BR/>Being in ministry is hard; being a family in ministry is harder. And this is a much needed book for anyone or any family who serves in any capacity of church ministry. If you love your pastor and his family, if you love your church staff...if you love yourself, you will get and read and apply this book.<BR/><BR/>"Mad Church Disease" is a careful and Biblical examination of burnout in ministry. We are at epidemic proportions of burnout in the American church. However, when Anne researched books on the topic, she found little if any materials.<BR/><BR/>That sparked the desire to write something that would reach out to families suffering from overloads of stress or burnout. I'm not thankful for what my sister Anne went through in order to write this book, but yet I am.<BR/><BR/>She writes with authentic voice because she's been there. She writes with information because she's done her homework. And she writes from a servant's heart, packing this short, easy to read book with Scripture after Scripture and interview after interview.<BR/><BR/>This woman truly has a heart for ministry and for those who minister. She herself grew up in a pastor's home and suffered from abuse of every variety. Anne does not hide her own struggles or sins; she bravely bares them in this examination of how to keep moving forward in a lifestyle that somehow seems to drain the life out of us.<BR/><BR/>Anne's approach is multi-faceted. She doesn't just talk about spiritual disciplines, but mental, emotional and physical ones as well. I truly haven't read such a well rounded book on whole being care in my life.<BR/><BR/>With personal stories as well as interviews and comments from those in ministry, Anne's words ring with powerful authenticity and truth. Not only has she walked this road, but she brings us other sojourners along the way for encouragement and "follow me as I follow Christ" exhortations.<BR/><BR/>I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I cannot urge you strongly enough to get, read, study and apply this book. Thankfully, Anne's writing style is so engaging that you'll find yourself flying through the pages.<BR/><BR/>Don't.<BR/><BR/>Take your time. Savor each section. Roll it around in your soul and let the messages and the warnings soak in. And then make time to live it out in your life and in the lives of your family and your staff.<BR/><BR/>If we don't, we could very well quench the Spirit's power and ability to move and to bring revival to the church and to our world. It is that critical that we understand the message of Anne's book--a message God had her write for such a time as this.<BR/><BR/>"Mad Church Disease" releases January 2009 from Zondervan. Watch for it. Buy it by the case and distribute it to those in your congregations, your network, your life who are serving in any capacity for ministry--but especially for your pastor and his family.<BR/><BR/>I'm awarding this book the golden bookmark with the golden tassel for publishing excellence, as well as "Best in Christian Ministry of the Decade".

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