book review – “steering through chaos”

When I started reading this book, I breathed a sigh of relief. That’s because I received a copy of this book for free for the purpose of reviewing it on my blog. In addition to that my friend Justin Lathrop (who is on staff with the author) invited me to the “blog tour” of the book. When I accepted the invitation, in the back of my head I said, “I hope this is good, because I really don’t want to struggle to give it a decent review.” However all fears were quickly forgotten as I began to read. “Steering Through Chaos” is a great book that effectively communicates its message.

In “Steering Through Chaos”, Scott Wilson aims to help the reader understand, embrace and navigate through one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of pastoral ministry: change and transition.

Scott does a great job communicating in a way that comes across as sincere, authentic and experienced. His approach and style made reading this book not only informative, but enjoyable as well. Often I felt like Scott was just having conversation with me over coffee. In chapter 8, he discusses the importance of having a life coach. For the author, it’s the single most important principle in the book. I couldn’t help but think that the book itself is like a mini life coach session with Scott.

Most books that I read end up back on the shelf and get lost in the mix. A few books go to the shelf and stick out. These are the books that I make note of their position, the look of the spine and its height. These are books that I want to find again. The ones that will serve as a reference for me in the future. “Steering Through Chaos” is part of that later group.

For me, this book was a refreshing look at what pastoral ministry is about. Reading it served as a sort of “realignment” for me. Unfortunately, in the past I’ve seen a lot of what ministry is not. This book has come to me at a time when I really needed to see an optimistic, healthy, God-honoring perspective of ministry and the challenges that it brings. I appreciated that Scott’s passion isn’t to lead effective change in and of itself. Instead his focus is to be deeply committed to following Jesus and bringing as many people as possible with him on the journey (even though that often results in a bit of chaos along the way). This is probably best illustrated in chapter 5, which deals with the importance and need for corporate prayer. It’s a powerful reminder to make sure we’re listening to the right voice.

This is a book that I’m going to be recommending to the staff I serve with at Cornerstone. It provides some great insight on how we can work through some of the challenges that we are/will be facing as we continue to grow and transition.

I recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role, especially those in ministry and those who need to keep a vision alive in front of a group of people.

You can purchase “Steering Through Chaos” by Scott Wilson on

Author: Erik

Erik lives in Bethalto, IL were he serves as the Executive Pastor at Cornerstone Church. He and his wife, Bethany, have two boys (Parker and Kent). He's an Apple fan and all around techie who loves Angry Birds and Words With Friends.

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