|A Brief Review of
By Keith D. Meyer.
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Reviewed by William Mills
If you want a book that inspires, encourages, and stirs the imagination then Keith Meyer’s new book, Whole Life Transformation is just the book for you. Keith Meyer has both an MDiv and DMin degree and has been a pastor for over thirty years. He started the Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, MN and currently serves as a senior fellow with the Renovare Spiritual Formation Institute. Meyer is also a contributing editor to Leadership Journal as well as an editor of the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care.
Many books deal either with spirituality or ministry but Whole Life Transformation includes the best of both these worlds. Meyer shows his readers that ministry leaders must be proactive in their own spiritual journey, seeking mental, physical, and spiritual health so that they can go out and serve God’s people. Meyer notes that many pastors, himself included, have lived, breathed, and preached a very active and “busy” ministry which included Church growth, high-energy evangelism, and increasing membership in their churches. However, after hitting bottom with his own personal demons as well as the repercussions of family dysfunction, Meyer sought help. Throughout this book Meyer includes personal stories from his therapy which included not just visiting with a pastoral counselor but also seeking out a spiritual director. After time in deep contemplation: reading the scriptures prayerfully, taking time away from parish life in order to spend more time with family, maintaining safe personal and family boundaries, Meyer felt equipped to re-enter ministry.
Whole Life Transformation is a book that every pastor and seminarian must read at least once a year. All too often pastors fall into the trap that our job is to be the CEO of our congregations, focusing our attention on what Meyer’s calls the “externals” buildings, budgets, increasing memberships, and so forth. Due to high stress from Church authorities and from parishioners pastors succumb to high demands and pressures which often result in some sort of addictive or toxic behaviors. Meyer’s shows us that if pastors are grounded in the person and ministry of Christ, a ministry focused on prayer, rest, proper mental and physical health, then we can best serve our flocks. I congratulate Mr. Meyer for his ruthless honesty about himself and about the Church at large and his boldness to take on the many demons that are plaguing the Church today.
Do yourself a favor and “take and read” Whole Life Transformation, you won’t be disappointed.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com