How Your Church Family Works: the good, the bad, and the ugly

I always wondered why God chose the church. We petty, anxious, selfish people can make a mess of His message. A supernatural “Jesus Saves” written with mountains floating in the air would cause less drama. Assuming God knows what He is doing, we need a way to work together in this family called church. For that, Steinke’s book is priceless.


The Good: This book was great – fun to read, immensely practical, convicting and encouraging. I can’t recommend it highly enough – especially to those in ministry. I especially liked the “7 Responses to Promote Health: Self not others, strength not weakness; process not content; challenge not comfort, integrity not unity; system not symptom; direction not condition.” OK, you need definitions to apply, but trust me they are good.

I also was helped by the idea of Triangles. “When A is at odds with B, the most anxious of the pair introduces C (third party) to reduce anxiety between A and B. For example, God confronts Adam about his disobedience. Anxious Adam shifts the burden to Eve. When she encounters God, Eve blames the snake.” So glad I’ve never done that.

And my favorite quote: “Anxiety creates its own disaster.” Gregory Bateson.


The Bad: The first half is more theoretical; the second half has more stories to illustrate the truths. And graphs. So, the second half is way more interesting. The bad thing is, you can’t really understand the second half without reading through from the beginning. Trust me on this one. To Steinke’s credit, even the first half is a good read.


The Ugly: I’ve been in church work for about 30 years, and now this book comes out. I’d have handled a lot of ugly in a more redemption fashion, had Steinke written this and I applied it sooner. So, it’s all Steinke’s fault. Thanks Steinke, now no more anxiety between me A and them B.





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