The Measure of Our Success by Shawn Lovejoy

Shawn Lovejoy. The Measure of Our Success: An Impassioned Plea to Pastors. Baker Books, 2012. 184 pgs. 

In this plea Shawn Lovejoy takes aim at the all to common problem of pastoral burnout and failure. In his own words: "Why are so many pastors and ministry leaders falling? Why are they so vulnerable? Why are they so unfulfilled? Lonely? Insecure? Discouraged? Depressed? Burned out? Why are so many not seeing the fruit they hoped to see? What is wrong with pastors?"  The answer? Many pastors are aiming at the wrong thing. Pastors seek to do great things for God instead of being a great man with God. Pastors seek numbers instead of fruit, busy-ness instead of wholeness, approval instead of holiness, and fame instead of faithfulness. Chasing the wrong things kills us. 

It is a sad thing that this book needed to be written, but I do believe it did. The real message, condensed in the way I would want to say it to other pastors, is quite simple: You are not Jesus! Along the way to saying this, Lovejoy makes many interesting side-trips; telling us about his resignation from Leadership (Jesus leads!), what to do when you feel like quitting (turn to Jesus), and so on. I felt distinctly blase as I read this book; I'm not sure if that was the book or me. I suspect it is because the same points have been made far better elsewhere (hello Mr. Eugene Peterson...). 

Conclusion: 3.5 Stars. Conditionally recommended (kind of sort of not really almost? sorry for that; a reflection of my ambivalence I suppose). If the first paragraph struck you as addressing a super important issue, then great, start out with this book if you want or move straight to people like Eugene Peterson and Henri Nouwen. 

Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Baker in exchange for an honest review.

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