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Free to Be Faithful

Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome by Kent and Barbara Hughes, Tyndale, $9.95

Reviewed by Steve Harris, vice-principal, Valley Christian Junior High School, San Jose, California

Kent Hughes was planting a church, his first solo pastorate, and he had it all going for him-youth, ability, a supportive wife, and a nucleus of twenty families, not to mention a $50,000 gift from a sponsoring church. He headed into his Southern California target community armed with extensive church growth expertise, aerial photographs, demographic studies, a slick multimedia presentation, and a storage trailer stuffed with folding chairs, hymnals, and a pulpit. How could he miss?

But he did-by a mile. Six months of eighty-hour weeks later, his church had fewer people than when he started. It left him shaken. "I was in the darkest depression of my life," he recalls. "Everything seemed a gray, horizonless sea; I was treading water alone, sinking fast."

The story of his struggle and the ...

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