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A Feature Review of
Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure
Paperback: IVP Books, 2014
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Reviewed by Micheal Hickerson
Earlier this summer, my wife and I visited about ten unfamiliar churches around Cincinnati. For every healthy community we encountered, there was another that was slowly dying, with a small group of survivors still meeting in a mostly empty sanctuary. At several, we were among their few visitors all year. One church, itself in the midst of a long pastor search, had recently merged with another that had been forced to sell its building, producing the strange scene of a pastor without a church attending a church without a pastor. Even flourishing churches bore scars of recent wounds, such as the wealthy and well-attended church whose lobby featured protraits of every pastor since the 1920s. Every pastor, that is, except for the most recently departed.
Fail grew out of Briggs’s own failures and his subsequent launch of the Epic Fail conferences, a series of intimate gatherings around the country unlike any church conference I’ve ever attended.