Review: Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome

Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome By Kent and Barbara Hughes

I first heard of Kent Hughes earlier this year, listening to his message from the 2013 Desiring God Pastor’s Conference. He gave a brief autobiographical account, and I was stirred to ask myself, “What is my view of success? What are my goals in serving Christ?” and to refocus on the fact that success is essentially faithfulness to Him, fleshed out in all of the specifics. I was intrigued to check out his book, then just a few weeks ago, a friend put this book in my hands and said, “I want you to read this.” Wish granted 🙂

This is a good basic book on the motivations for ministry and what true success looks like. It starts with his identity crisis early in his own ministry, and then walks through the different biblical principles that focused his mind and heart back on the Lord, and not the world’s ideas of success. The autobiographical element is carried throughout the book, each chapter closing with that particular principle’s application to their own life and ministry.

In all, I liked this book, but wasn’t profoundly impacted by it. Recently, I also read An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times, and I have The Christian Ministry in my sights, so to me “The Success Syndrome” was just a lighter contemporary version of what these other men have said.

That said, I would recommend it as a good, basic overview of a biblical approach to ministry.


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