Book Review: Mad Church Disease, Overcoming the burnout epidemic

From personal experience and evidence of a heart bathed in God’s grace, Anne Jackson takes us on a journey through the life of one called to ministry. In her book Mad Church Disease, Anne relates personal stories of how a life called to minister can be weighted so much toward doing good for God and others that life becomes out of balance and very unhealthy.

Early in the book, p 37, we see a diagram of four circles, each representing a part of life: physical, social, mental and spiritual. The object of the diagram is to show that life is not balanced unless attention is given to each area. Anne’s frankness about her own struggles made me want to continue reading and see how she brought and continues to strive for balance in her life.

Part two of the book is a more practical way to look at risk factors of burnout and a challenge to examine our own lives for lack of balance. It is in this part that we also find some short interviews with other ministry leaders which reveal their struggles and success as they seek balance.

Throughout the book Anne demonstrates her sense of call to ministry, desire to minister and totally relying on God helps her accomplish what she is called to do. It is in the last pages, the epilogue where she places strong emphasis on the source of strength and balance: relying on God. This is not taken as cliché, but as a fact.

Anne Jackson continues in ministry today and continues to write.  You can follow her journey of faith and ministry at

Mad Church Disease is not a book just for those in ministry as a vocation, but for anyone who is seeking true balance in their lives.

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