This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute (www.desertbibleinstitute.com).
Praise the Lord! After a lifetime of “You ought to” finally someone says, “Maybe you shouldn’t.” To date, I had never read a book by just Kevin DeYoung. I always read, and was blessed by, books that he co-authored like Just Do Something and Why We Love the Church. These books were always good; however, they were missing a little something. I now know what that was, DeYoung’s wit and charm. I recently went back and re-listened to What is the Mission of the Church, and I am certain I can tell the areas where DeYoung was either the writer or the primary influence. He has a funny, endearing honesty that puts readers at their ease. He doesn’t present himself as a self-help guru. He doesn’t even present himself as someone who has conquered the problem of busyness. Instead, he shares how he himself struggles with the issues of time management and what he has to do to make time for what is important.
What impressed me the most was that this book was neither some minor quick-fixes to time management (like setting a more selective email filter) nor was it a cheerleading session. If it was either of those I’d have been annoyed. What he looks at is how people in general (and in the church specifically) mismanage their time. The crux of what he shares is examining our reasons for what we do. Most prominent among these reason is pride. Why do we really do what we do and is it for our sake or God’s. He doesn’t purport to know our hearts, but he does clearly assert that we need to know our hearts. He also gets into many of the reasons that we lose those minutes and hours throughout the week. While the reasons he address are understandable; maybe even laudable, DeYoung encourages us that we have to set priorities and to make the hard choices so that we can offer our best to those things that we do best.
This book isn’t meant for everyone. In most churches I walk into, I see 10-20% of the people doing 80-90% of the work. For that minority though, this book is essential. This book should be an encouragement to the leaders of the church to raise up new men and women to lead. Doing this will allow both the current leaders to do what they do best, and the new leaders to be blessed by serving the Lord. Perhaps the unsaid theme of this book is “be less of a worker and more of a mentor” so that all the church can know the blessings of service.
Well before the end of this book, DeYoung’s sound arguments and clear examples had me evaluating my life. Immediately, I saw not only where I was overextending myself but also where I was just wasting my time doing things I thought as a pastor, father, and husband that I “ought to do.” I realize now, after reading this book, is that I was doing a worse job at all three, because I was doing what others thought was right for me rather than following my giftings in these areas of my life. I am already becoming a better-rested, happier, more attentive man than I was before reading this book. I, like Pastor DeYoung, still have a long ways to go; however, now I know what the actual problem is and can address it.
While I’m not sure that Adam Verner got all the subtleties of DeYoung’s personality down in his reading of Crazy Busy, I do think that he did a good job of narration. He spoke smoothly and clearly throughout the book and read at a good pace. A writer that uses as many understated turns of phrase and ironic humor as DeYoung does has to be hard to read for. Across the board this was an excellent book not only to listen to, but to have on your bookshelf to refer to again-and-again.
Trent Nicholson, Ph.D., D.Min.
Desert Bible Institute, President
Dr. Nicholson is a member of the christianaudio review program. To learn more, visit christianaudio’s website at: http://www.christianaudio.com or Dr. Nicholson’s blog at drtnicholson.wordpress.com.