ISBN 978 0 8308 4734 1
Price £20
156 pages

There have been several podcasts made and books written about the crash and burn of Christian ministry. And it’s certainly important for the Church to navigate the territory that has led to toxicity and disfunction in Christian leadership. This book is an honest attempt to do that by meditating on the places, mostly mountains, in Scripture that have been transformative meeting points between God and humans.

What is refreshing about Land of My Sojourn is that it does honestly reflect on how things go wrong in a Christian community, with all its gut-wrenching agony, but does so with no rancour or attempt at self-justification.

Instead, Mike Cosper bares his soul to describe how he has felt as a leader in an innovative church, how that came to a crunching end, and how he has continued to find a home in one of the congregations of that church.

Two very telling comments struck me. One is the comment that when the author walked into conferences and church leadership meetings, he felt an enormous pressure to make himself feel and seem large. Yet the waves of life appear to be much larger and can bowl us over in no time. I think that a true sense of self-awareness is crucial for a healthy life, especially in church leadership. Leaders heading for a fall have often forgotten that they are merely humans.

The second comment relates to meeting those huge waves in life:

“Maybe the true gift of suffering is tuning our ears to hear God’s whisper, even when pain is shouting.”

Ah yes. God’s megaphone getting a word in edgeways when the wheels of life have come off and we are sitting in the middle of the car crash! We all need reminders to listen for the still small voice of God above the ambient noise of our hearts and the siren sound of our busyness and sense of importance.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.