Furtick, Greater

I like Steve Furtick, most of the time. He’s like preaching candy for me. Lots of good lines, lots of energy, all the while he rides the line with the prosperity gospel clan. His material tends to be grown out of the old covenants, but he doesn’t go full kool-aid in saying that God wants you to have a new ride and a fat bank account. He somehow manages to keep one foot in the land of the baptists and one foot in the land of the charismatics. I read his first book, Sun Stand Still and it was great. I actually didn’t want to like it because of his promo stunt where he preached for 24 hours straight, which I thought was just as cheezy as it was gimmicky.

His newest book, Greater: Dream Bigger, Start Smaller. Ignite God’s Vision for your Life, is based on the life of Elisha. It basically goes through the stories of the life of Elisha and says that God is just as powerful now as He was then and he can do the same things in your life.  A couple chapters are a bit of a stretch, but overall the book is encouraging and easy to read – and it’s really small sized so you can feel good about reading 190 pages even though the pages are half the size of a normal book. I tended to feel like he was trying to get people to dream bigger but lower their immediate expectations so that God wasn’t failing. Like if you pray for something and God doesn’t act, don’t worry because He will act, just not yet. For me, when I think that way I start to treat God like an ATM, expecting withdrawals to be available whenever I make spiritual deposits through prayer or reading scripture or doing good deeds. It’s incredibly unhealthy for me.



Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Church

I picked up this book used at Powell’s last year and have just got to read it this summer. I was interested in it because emotional health is such a difficult area for me to lead in, and I have a desire for people who are a part of my church to be growing in Chris in all areas.

Peter Scazzero planted and pastors a church in Queens, NY. Apparently he does a bunch of writing and speaking on this subject, but I had never heard of him.

The book itself was well written and easy to read. It is actually a discipleship guide that places discipleship in the arena of the emotions. So it’s useful beyond just emotional health; Scazzero rightly believes that emotional health is a by-product of spiritual health. Scazzero writes, “the overall health of any church or ministry depends primarily on the emotional and spiritual health of its leadership.”

It has some great stories, useful guidance and fun sermon material that could be useful to church leaders.