I’m not much of a book review writer. Okay, lets be honest here…I probably haven’t written an official book review since 8th grade Advance English class. But since I was so blessed to have a pre-released copy of Mad Church Disease mailed to me by Zondervan, the least I could do to thank them, and author Anne Jackson, would be to write a review.
Let’s do a quick recap before we dive in. When Anne first started the research and writing of Mad Church Disease (MCD) in the summer of 2007, I was just starting out in my second summer youth internship at a church here in the Kansas City metro. The “burnout” syndrome was a familiar term to me, but only because I had seen so many people on this church staff become so jadded. But I was different. I was young, fresh, and full of life. The scary, ugly “underbelly” of the church was not going to warp me like it did for so many others.
About two months ago, I was sitting at my new desk as the Associate Director of High School Ministries at this same church. Within 18 months, I had gone from intern to associate director, with what seemed like a million other job titles in between. I now had a title I had dreamed of having, but my heart was wrestless, aching, tired, hurt, bitter, confused, oppressed, and heavy with so many burdens. I had burnt out. How had I gotten here? It was at that time that I downloaded Anne’s free chapter of MCD and read it. God used her words to speak value into my hurting and wounded soul. He slapped me awake and reminded me that I was created for more than the life I had been living. Two days later, I resigned from the position with no other job lined up. But when God speaks that loudly, you obey.
Fast forward again.
A few weeks ago I received MCD in the mail. Why would I, a 20-something girl in the KC metro, be getting a pre-released copy of this Zondervan-published book? Because news spreads like wildfire and Anne forwarded my story to her Zondervan team, who thought I should read this book. Yes, me, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youth intern from last summer who was sure I’d never be on the other side of that jadded fence. I was wrong. Within 18 months of being an intern, I had found my way to the Associate Director of High School ministries position. And to save all of the messy detailed, I was burned and burned out.. I never would have thought I would be in the position of so many people Anne referred to in her book…but I was.
So I read the book.