I’m very grateful to be part of the launch team for Skye Jethani’s brand new book Immeasurable: Reflections on the Soul of Ministry in the Age of Church, Inc. As part of the launch team, I got this book for free in exchange for a fair review. I signed up on a whim; but I’m really glad I did.
Immeasurable is a book I’d like to give every person just starting out in ministry. It is a much-needed antidote to the consumer-driven, success-by-the-numbers approach of a lot (if not most) of what passes as “Church leadership training” these days.
Skye does a great job of distilling and applying some of the best ideas of the “giants” he thanks at the beginning of the book—guys like Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, Brennan Manning, and Henri Nouwin.
If young pastors and new leaders start here, they’ll be on a virtual launch pad to much of the best literature out there on the essence of pastoral ministry, and they’ll be exposed to ideas and stories and will likely challenge them deeply.
Skye casts a deeply inspiring vision of pastoral ministry that encouraged me think about “church growth” as something much deeper than attendance numbers or even theological education. Instead, Skye urges pastors and leaders to consider growth in terms of communion with Christ and empowerment of the laity to deeply pursue their own spiritual growth.
According to Skye, Christian ministry must never be fully equated with mission, as vital as that is, but rather must retain real relationship with God as the ultimate end. This is so easily lost today when—as he reminds us—so many good things (like people in the pews and a passion for God’s mission in the world) become ultimate things.
This book is nothing less than a guide on how to avoid the ever-present temptations of idolatry for ministers. Above all, Immeasurable reminds us that ministry can never be about control; like all of life, it must be about communion.
A note on format of the book: it’s divided into 24 chapter that can each be read in about 20 minutes or less. Each chapter is more-or-less a self-contained essay on a different topic, ranging from the role of ambition in ministry, to preaching, to simplicity, to building influence and beyond. Each chapter has a few questions for reflection at the end. This format lends itself to serious reading and thought, and would be great to go through slowly with leadership teams. I could also see this being used for training programs for new leaders, with the questions being jump-off points for discussion with mentors.