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Life Surprises!! And How To Prepare For Them

June 12, 2019

Unfortunately common sense is no longer common nor is wisdom easily found so when a leading ministry leader is willing to peel back the layers of privacy and present their story of “life surprises” and the lessons they learned from confronting them transparently and with strong action steps it makes for an important read. Such is the case with DIDN’T SEE IT COMING by Cary Nieuwhof (2018, WaterBrook Press). The sub-title is very informative, “Overcoming the 7 greatest challenges that no one expects and everyone experiences”. The seven challenges presented in autobiographical form following a call to ministry are Cynicism, Compromise, Disconnection, Irrelevance, Pride, Burnout and Emptiness. Each topic is explored in a two chapter format, the first laying out the issue, the second deals with solutions and practical application steps. For me in my season of life the chapter on Burnout was the most impacting but all the chapter were handled well with strong citations for the research discussed in the end notes. The one theme that was very well presented but left me just a bit out side my personal experiences was Chapters 7 and 8 on the topic of  Irrelevance titled, Change Never Asks Permission: The silent creep of irrelevance and Craving Different: How Regular and Radical Change keeps you in the game (pp. 89-112). As a 20 year academic at the same University change in my life comes slowly through growth, research, service and continuing maturity (I hope). More through a “long Obedience In The Same Direction” and consistent Longevity  with intentional focus on development than regular radical (seemingly almost random) change seemingly for the sake of change itself. That said, I know people who do feel that need and the chapter helped me understand them and that mind set better. This book came to me highly recommended by a wide range of ministry leaders whose opinions I greatly respect so I will simply echo their thoughts and urge you to buy this book, read it, apply it and pass it on to others. This is one of the most impact full book I have read in 2019!


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