For those who don’t know, Noble was the founding and lead pastor of New Spring Church, a rocket of a church in the Carolinas, until he was canned. He was struggling in his life and had some personal issues that were overflowing into his leadership, so the board at the church removed him. It’s always a terrible story, and there are so many common threads in these mega church pastor explosions and flame outs. It’s remarkable in two equal but opposite ways: why does it keep happening, and how amazing are men like Richard Warren and Andrew Stanley for their long integrity in their leadership roles!
All that to say, I picked up Perry Noble’s book, Overwhelmed: Winning the War Against Worry, because it included some of his backstory in leadership when he was dealing with his burn out. Reading biographies of other leaders is an incredibly helpful practice for those with leadership roles. Sometimes this is to learn from their strengths and, in this case, sometimes it is to avoid their mistakes.
It was a helpful book, but really it could have been half the length. The first half of the book is about his personal stories, and the second half felt like a repackaged sermon series. I didn’t think it would be that way, but it was really difficult to continue to take the book seriously as it got more and more tedious. So, if you pick it up, read the first half and shelf the rest. Unless you are into it, then knock yourself out.
Here’s an encouraging line I highlighted:
- p.81, “Most Bible experts agree that the fourth man in the fire was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ. But Shadrach, Meshach and Agednego didn’t see Jesus until they got into the fire.”