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The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good
     

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good

4.9 10
by Peter Greer
 

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Charity and Service Have a Dark Side

You want to live out the Gospel by serving others, and you're willing to sacrifice your time, money, and perhaps even your safety. But do you realize the spiritual dangers you face as you serve? Peter Greer, the CEO of a Christian nonprofit, found that serving others and seeking justice actually did him harm. He

Overview

Charity and Service Have a Dark Side

You want to live out the Gospel by serving others, and you're willing to sacrifice your time, money, and perhaps even your safety. But do you realize the spiritual dangers you face as you serve? Peter Greer, the CEO of a Christian nonprofit, found that serving others and seeking justice actually did him harm. He shares how something that started with the noblest of intentions got off track--and how he got back on course. His story is a compassionate warning for anyone who works in ministry or charitable nonprofits, from CEOs to weekend volunteers.

"Doing good can take its toll on our lives if we aren't careful. The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good is an honest look at the dangers we all need to avoid as we seek to make a difference."--Craig Groeschel, senior pastor, LifeChurch.tv

"Peter Greer is a friend and a brother. His newest book is a brilliant reminder that what we do is not nearly as important as who we are--and how much we give is not nearly as important as how much love is in the giving."--Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and lover of Jesus

"In this extremely timely and important book, Peter Greer applies the apostle Paul's teaching to the twenty-first century leader. Readable, humorous, and keenly insightful."--Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts

"This book is a needed message for all leaders interested in social justice, ministry, or simply loving their neighbors as themselves. It is timely and welcomed. So get ready for a challenge. Peter is a thought leader who is changing the world. Read this book!"--Brad Lomenick, president and lead visionary, Catalyst

"If you're ready to take an honest look at your leadership then read this work with a continual prayer on your lips: 'Lord, show me how this might be true in my life.' Too often Christian leaders gloss over these issues at their own peril. Read it, take heed, and become liberated from the hero who must die in order to live--you."--Dr. Scott C. Todd, senior vice president, Compassion International

"Anchored in personal, gut-honest experience, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good is a clarion call to all of us. Peter and Anna discuss how to change the world without sacrificing what is most important. I deeply resonate with the principles found in this book.."--Stephan Bauman, president and CEO, World Relief

"Peter has nailed it. He has uncovered unique signs and situations we overlook as leaders that cause serious harm to ourselves and to others--particularly those we love most. Want to be a great leader? This is a must read."--David Spickard, president & CEO, Jobs for Life

" Peter helps us in practical ways to serve Jesus with a pure heart, pure love and  no applause necessary. I believe this book will get you in your gut and you'll be forever changed."--Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne's, Inc.

"I wish I could have read The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good as a young pastor. My idealism has often been my greatest strength and my most catastrophic weakness. Peter understands this, and his stories and insights would have saved me from heartache and major mistakes.."--Chris Seay, pastor, Ecclesia Houston

"Provides a powerful wake-up call for Christians. The discussion questions and suggested videos on a variety of topics make this excellent for group studies. The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good should be required reading for all Christians whether they are involved in overseas missions or work in their own neighborhoods."--Congregational Libraries Today

"Greer outlines many of the dangers that go along with serving others, including an inflated ego, a judgmental heart, and serving the poor at the neglect of one's spouse and family. He offers insight and points readers to the God who asks us to love others, and to do it with a heart that is open to Him. This book is a great resource for anyone who serves others, whether as a pastor, nonprofit leader or volunteer at the local food bank."--Youthworker Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441261588
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,034,116
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Peter Greer (www.peterkgreer.com) is president and CEO of HOPE International, a global nonprofit focused on addressing both physical and spiritual poverty through microfinance. He has a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School. Peter speaks regularly to large audiences, including at conferences like Catalyst and Passion. Peter lives with his wife and three children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Anna Haggard is the executive writing assistant at HOPE International, where she collaborates with the president and CEO and the marketing department to share HOPE's message through print and social media. She coauthored The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good with Peter Greer. Anna is a graduate of Asbury University and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Peter Greer (www.peterkgreer.com) is president and CEO of HOPE International, a global nonprofit focused on addressing both physical and spiritual poverty through microfinance. He has a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School. Peter is the coauthor of The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good, Mission Drift, and six other books. He speaks at conferences, including Catalyst and Passion, and has been featured by media outlets such as CNN, Christianity Today, and World. Peter lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Laurel, and three children.

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The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
Many of us engage in doing God’s work on earth through Christian acts.  We find satisfaction, pride and self-worth in doing good for others in God’s name.  Success can be a trap, however.  The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good explains the dangers and what happens when Christian service and good works lead to burnout, pride, or sin.  It also advises readers on changing course. Peter Greer gives a candid account of how this can happen, using his experiences as CEO of HOPE International, a large Christian nonprofit that serves those in need by helping them help themselves. Greer uses stories from his own life and others in ministry to help readers protect themselves from disillusionment, vanity, and other dangers. He uses a wide variety of examples and situations as teaching tools with which readers can identify.  If the reader fails to recognize himself in one chapter’s situation, he is sure to come face to face with himself in another. This book serves as a compassionate warning to everyone who works in ministry or charitable nonprofits, from CEOs to weekend volunteers.  It is easy to become obsessed with results, success, growth and progress in our ministries. Greer advises using God’s measuring stick, rather than our own.  Readers should be ready for some challenging and uncomfortable admissions of guilt and should pay attention to Greer’s advice on repenting and working with love, for the glory of God.  The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good includes end-of-chapter questions for personal reflection or group discussion as well as Scriptural and Internet references and pictures.   I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review.  This book is highly recommended for all who work in any Christian ministry and who seek to make their lives Christ-centered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have served as chaplain of music teams, soccer team, honors council, and currently serve as student body president. Needless to say, I am accustomed to being a do-gooder and feeling the pressure of a spotlight on me as a spiritual leader. This book was a refreshing wake up call about the importance of having real relationships with mentors and accountability friends to help me keep my heart pure as I serve in these roles. We are always encouraged to do good but it is important to be aware of what can happen when we slowly lose focus of why we are serving. I strongly recommend this book to any Christians in leadership. It strikes the balance of challenging and encouraging us through honest and personal stories of Peter's experiences serving in various ministries and at HOPE International.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read an advanced reader's copy of Spiritual Danger of Doing Good and instantly knew this book carried a critical message for Christian leaders. Peter Greer vulnerably shares his own stories of burnout and pain while exposing an "unspoken secret" facing Christian leaders: No matter how amazing the work is you're doing, you will collapse if you lose sight of your soul. The story-driven writing style made the book a very quick read, but these examples woven through the text have stuck with me. I can't give this book a stronger endorsement. You will be changed because of it. And those around you will as well.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
With all the books out there on charity and "doing good," it was interesting to read one on its apparent dangers.  While this book covers stuff like financial ruin, volunteer betrayal, and family crises, it focuses much more on the heart of the do-gooder.  Readers come to understand that doing good works does not guarantee blessings--Christian karma as the book calls it.  Readers will also grasp how they can be incredibly selfish even when they are serving others.  For instance, if you have a charity organization named after you with your face plastered all over media, pride can start to slip it...if it has not already.  This book was a fun read that held my attention.  What I didn't like so much was one nuance in the book where Pharisees were discussed.  The book gave the impression that the "heavy burdens" the Pharisees placed on people were related to biblical law.  However, historically speaking, the Pharisees pushed man-made tradition on people.  Yeshua (Jesus) promoted the Torah (Matt 5) and did not consider it a burden.  However, I perhaps I am being too harsh.  Very few mainstream Christian teachers know the difference between the Torah and the Talmud.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter's humility and openness allow this to be a book full of lessons and insight...but only those lessons he's learned by doing.  I was both convicted and compelled while reading this book that anyone in the business of 'doing good' can relate to.  Many of Peter's stories hit very close to home and made me realize how susceptible I can be to some of these 'dangers."  Highly recommended to anyone in the business of service...local pastors, missions leaders, missionaries, development workers, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a prophetic book for anyone involved or wants to be involved in helping others at any level. Peter, throughout the book, used his past failures as an example and reference to the message he wanted to convey in the book. Even though the book examines issues that are deeper and beyond the surface, it is never judgmental. Peter never presents himself in the book as a specialist but as a person who is in a process of learning from his success and failures. Because of this very reason, the book smells like very human (NOT angelic). And it is easy to relate to the stories and related principles drawn from them. So often writers are considered specialists and beyond reproach. That creates a gap between the readers and the writers. It in effect kills the desire to follow the principles they raise in their books; particularly for books that focus on Character and Attitude. Peter speaks about motives, pride, lie, exaggeration, the desire to be a hero and other sins that could easily trap us while helping others. He clearly shows us that none of us are naturally immune from these traps. He also shows us practical ways of protecting and guarding ourselves from all these sins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, much like Peter's first, is filled with stories of his direct experience as the president of a world class development network, HOPE International. In SDDG he details many of his own shortcomings in a writing style that has the technical clarity of his past writings while integrating the deeply emotional honesty of Bob Goff. This is a book of wisdom; not just knowledge. It is full of stories that illustrate lessons learned and should be read by anyone that is looking to learn how to live better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can doing good have a dark side? The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good offers a refreshing look at why we serve and the need to be aware of our ministry blind spots. Greer's vulnerability in retelling his personal story serves as a compassionate warning to ministry leaders worldwide. A must read for anyone in the business of serving others - I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down once I got started! The stories are so entertaining and make strong points about the slippery slopes to be avoided in serving others. As a recent seminary graduate, anyone responding to a calling to ministry should make this book an annual read and calibration point. It's challenging and inspirational. Greer & Haggard do an excellent job in clearly articulating such a complex topic. This book is the best gift you could give to any ministry leader that has influence in your life.
Copygirl More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced reader copy of The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good, thinking it would be similar to When Helping Hurts because Greer is the leader of a microfinance charity. So I was surprised that the danger Greer is speaking of is internal danger to the giver. This book should be required reading for every minister, every person in church and charity leadership and every nonprofit junkie. The chapters are short and each covers a specific danger that comes from doing too much without paying attention to your life. Greer's honesty is disarming and allows you to identify with him without embarrassment. One word of caution: Read it only for yourself first, not for "all the people you know who should read this book."