Biased Review of Mad Church Disease

Anne Jackson’s Mad Church Disease is the single, greatest book out on the market today. Okay, so like I said — this is a biased review. I can’t be unbiased. The author is my BFF after all — but I will do my best to give a fair review of her book.


Mad Church Disease discusses the epidemic of ministry burnout in today’s contemporary church. Anne brings this touchy subject to light using real-life stories of not only tragedy, but redemption and healing for those who have been affected by this disease.

But when Anne mentioned to me that she was considering writing a book about ministry burn-out, I have to be honest and say that I didn’t think it would go anywhere. Sorry Anne. I know she had experienced burnout and I know that at times I had experienced burnout. And I had seen it all around me and seen the consequences of it (pastors having affairs, staff quitting left and right, volunteers leaving the church). But I was almost convinced it was just us. Or it was just our church. I mean, what was this thing called, “burnout?”

Were we just weak?

But soon after the launch of the Mad Church Disease anonymous surveys back in July of 2007: literally thousands of pastors, church staff, volunteers and families poured out their stories — proving without a doubt that ministry burnout was real… that it is an epidemic and that it is killing our churches.

This book NEEDED to be written and I couldn’t think of a better person to write it than Anne Jackson.

Anne writes with a passion, clever humility and tact not generally seen from “church book authors.” And remember, her story wasn’t new to me. I walked through much of her experience with her, but what I noticed is how much she didn’t make it about herself. Sure, she shares her story (even some of the ugliest parts) but what she makes very clear is that we all have a story. But each of us must take the necessary steps to evaluate our condition and get help. We’re ineffective in ministry if we’re bogged down by the disease of burnout and the consequences of it are too great to ignore.

This is a book that will no doubt inspire men and women currently serving in ministry, considering ministry and those who have left the church. God has definitely used Anne and her experiences in my life. I know the magnitude of impact this book carries. I look forward to seeing how God uses this book and Anne’s story to impact the lives of many.

I couldn’t be more proud of my friend Anne and am so excited to this book to fruition.


By Crystal Renaud

Crystal Renaud is the Founder & Executive Director of WHOLE Women Ministries whose projects include Dirty Girls Ministries and WHOLE Women’s Conference. She is also the author of Dirty Girls Come Clean (Moody Publishers), a speaker and student who lives in the Kansas City area. Follow @crystalrenaud on Twitter and visit her website for info on coaching and speaking at


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