Failing Boldly: How Falling Down in Ministry Can Be the Start of Rising Up
By Christian Coon
Do you know how to fail well? My guess is most of us don’t. In fact, our culture doesn’t talk much about failure, and the church is not that different from society in this regards.
Pause and think about the last time you sat and talked about your failures in ministry with colleagues. What was it like? What were the circumstances? What if this was a regular practice?
Ministry can feel very competitive, making it hard to share when things do not go well.
Yet talking about and learning from failures is an important leadership practice, one especially true for church leaders in this time of disruptive change.
Christian Coon, a United Methodist pastor, speaks into this reality in his book Failing Boldly. As a church planter, he has had to learn how to set his ego aside and develop a framework for failing well. Framed theologically and theoretically, he invites church leaders to step into this work not so they become better pastors, but so God’s church may embrace it’s calling in a deeper way and discover hope that only God can provide.
Filled with great stories and metaphors, Failing Boldly is accessible and offers an honest look at ministry. Coon’s informal style is inviting, but don’t let it overshadow the challenge he is placing before you. Failing well is hard. It takes practice, intentionality, and humility. Facing failure does not guarantee long-term success, but it does remind us of our humanity, call us to grow and learn with a community, and invite us to hold fast to God and God’s mission.
I recommend church leaders read Failing Boldly, or at least have it on their shelf so when God’s nudging you to embrace failure, it is ready for you.