Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure
By J.R. Briggs
Foreword by Eugene H. Peterson
What People Are Saying
"This book is CPR. Fail has given me breath for years to come. Within, Briggs offers an engaging, appealing and learned description of the failed life, invoking his readers to see afresh the breathtaking journey of all the landmarks along the way. Briggs reminds us that half of resurrection is death. And that, to truly live, we must fail. Jesus breathed his Spirit over a group of failed disciples from his cross. That same kind of thing seems to be going on in this book."
—A. J. Swoboda, PhD, professor, pastor and author of Messy
"God is allowing thousands of men and women to fail. Isn't that wonderful? It is if you can see it from God's perspective. I believe that God, although hurting with you through your pain and loss, is also delighted in your failure. Why? Because he wants so much more for you! J.R. Briggs will give you language for what you're going through, help you find healing where you are and provide you with some handles for the journey ahead. As a man who has experienced his share of failure, I am so glad someone finally had the courage and hopefulness to write a book like this one. You'll be glad, too!"
—Kevin Colón, neighborhood lead pastor at LifeBridge Christian Church, missional-incarnational coach & consultant at Missio
"Here is a theology of failure to go with Jesus' sacrament of failure ('shake the dust off your feet and move on'). Find out why the best fail the most, and how the 'great cloud of witnesses' in Hebrews 11 is a cumulonimbus cloud haloing a rogues' gallery. Briggs's solution to a failure of nerve—the nerve of failure—deserves wide reading."
—Leonard Sweet, bestselling author; professor, Drew University, George Fox University; chief contributor to sermons.com
"With Fail, J.R. Briggs has captured a truth we all crave but fear to articulate. There is not merely grace for the burning—or burnt-out, there is the very life of Christ: full of honesty, meaning and sharp joy. Beyond platitudes or Twitter-quote pep talks, J.R. offers peace, real encouragement, and a better definition of success for Christian ministry. This is the next best thing to sharing the body and blood with people who understand. Failures large and small, visible and invisible, will stand up and shout for J.R.'s wisdom, wit and honesty. I know that I do."
—Paul Pastor, associate editor of Christianity Today's Leadership Journal and PARSE
"J.R. Briggs captures the struggle of pastors in his new book Fail. The fear of failure is enough to freeze us in our path to ministry. J.R. not only shows the facts as to how this is affecting ministers across every denomination but also points toward solutions for pastors to find their way out in the midst of failure. Pastors often find themselves incapable, inadequate and even incompetent in the task that God has placed before them. J.R. reminds them that the only hope they have to complete the mission God has placed on their calling is to rely on the Holy Spirit."
—Maurice Graham, executive director, Shepherd's Staff Ministry, Inc.
"If you are struggling in ministry, this book will be like sitting down with a good friend who knows and understands what you are enduring. No quick fixes. No pat answers. No formulas. No judgment. Just gentle wisdom laced with grace to help you continue in God's calling."
—Ruth Graham, author of In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart
"Fail is like a barn for a tired, overburdened mule. That mule is us: preachers, pastors, leaders in the church. The wonderful gift we are given here is a re-yoking, where we come into that barn and have our yokes removed—which are of impossible weight to carry and manage—and slip into the yoke of Jesus, who carries all the burden of ministry and lets us join him, side by side, on the journey."
—Lance Ford, author of UnLeader and coauthor of The Missional Quest
"J.R. Briggs goes beyond giving us a robust theology of failure; he opens his veins and shares his life. He calls us to be faithful not efficient, to live vulnerably without shame. He gives us grace-filled opportunities to be our true selves. If you are a pastor, you need this book!"
—JR Woodward, national director of church planting for V3, author of Creating a Missional Culture