Spiritual Danger of Doing Good, The - eBook  -     By: Peter Greer, Brian Fikkert, Anna Haggard
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Spiritual Danger of Doing Good, The - eBook

Bethany House / 2013 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781441261588
ISBN-13: 9781441261588
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

Charity and Service Have a Dark Side

You want to live out the Gospel by serving others, and you're willing to sacrifice your time, money, and perhaps even your safety. But do you realize the spiritual dangers you face as you serve? Peter Greer, the CEO of a Christian nonprofit, found that serving others and seeking justice actually did him harm. He shares how something that started with the noblest of intentions got off track--and how he got back on course. His story is a compassionate warning for anyone who works in ministry or charitable nonprofits, from CEOs to weekend volunteers.

"Doing good can take its toll on our lives if we aren't careful. The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good is an honest look at the dangers we all need to avoid as we seek to make a difference."--Craig Groeschel, senior pastor, LifeChurch.tv

"Peter Greer is a friend and a brother. His newest book is a brilliant reminder that what we do is not nearly as important as who we are--and how much we give is not nearly as important as how much love is in the giving."--Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and lover of Jesus

"In this extremely timely and important book, Peter Greer applies the apostle Paul's teaching to the twenty-first century leader. Readable, humorous, and keenly insightful."--Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts

"This book is a needed message for all leaders interested in social justice, ministry, or simply loving their neighbors as themselves. It is timely and welcomed. So get ready for a challenge. Peter is a thought leader who is changing the world. Read this book!"--Brad Lomenick, president and lead visionary, Catalyst

"If you're ready to take an honest look at your leadership then read this work with a continual prayer on your lips: 'Lord, show me how this might be true in my life.' Too often Christian leaders gloss over these issues at their own peril. Read it, take heed, and become liberated from the hero who must die in order to live--you."--Dr. Scott C. Todd, senior vice president, Compassion International

"Anchored in personal, gut-honest experience, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good is a clarion call to all of us. Peter and Anna discuss how to change the world without sacrificing what is most important. I deeply resonate with the principles found in this book.."--Stephan Bauman, president and CEO, World Relief

"Peter has nailed it. He has uncovered unique signs and situations we overlook as leaders that cause serious harm to ourselves and to others--particularly those we love most. Want to be a great leader? This is a must read."--David Spickard, president & CEO, Jobs for Life

" Peter helps us in practical ways to serve Jesus with a pure heart, pure love and  no applause necessary. I believe this book will get you in your gut and you'll be forever changed."--Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne's, Inc.

"I wish I could have read The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good as a young pastor. My idealism has often been my greatest strength and my most catastrophic weakness. Peter understands this, and his stories and insights would have saved me from heartache and major mistakes.."--Chris Seay, pastor, Ecclesia Houston

"Provides a powerful wake-up call for Christians. The discussion questions and suggested videos on a variety of topics make this excellent for group studies. The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good should be required reading for all Christians whether they are involved in overseas missions or work in their own neighborhoods."--Congregational Libraries Today

"Greer outlines many of the dangers that go along with serving others, including an inflated ego, a judgmental heart, and serving the poor at the neglect of one's spouse and family. He offers insight and points readers to the God who asks us to love others, and to do it with a heart that is open to Him. This book is a great resource for anyone who serves others, whether as a pastor, nonprofit leader or volunteer at the local food bank."--Youthworker Journal

Author Bio

Peter Greer is president and CEO of HOPE International, a global nonprofit focused on addressing both physical and spiritual poverty through microfinance. He has a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School. Peter coauthored The Poor Will Be Glad, speaks at conferences, including Catalyst and Passion, and has been featured by media outlets such as CNN, Christianity Today, and World. Peter lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Laurel, and three children. Learn more at www.peterkgreer.com.


Anna Haggard is the executive writing assistant at HOPE International, where she collaborates with the president and CEO and the marketing department to share HOPE's message through print and social media. She coauthored The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good with Peter Greer. Anna is a graduate of Asbury University and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Worth reading and re-reading
    April 13, 2015
    Rhys
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good.
    This book addresses the issue that we first see articulated in the story of Mary and Martha - waiting on God vs. being consumed by appropriate and 'good' activity. The author does a nice job of articulating how doing good can become an idol that takes the place of God. I just finished the book last night and plan on re-reading several times as well as sharing this with others. The author does not provide anything 'new', but then there is not much that is new 'under the sun.' He does, however, pull the material covered together in an easy to read format that also challenges the reader to self-examination.

    I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who serves in a church or other religious organization. I've seen too much burnout because the task consumes the person rather than the person serving God. It's a much needed call out for all of us.
  2. Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Challenge: The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good
    September 1, 2013
    Jani417
    Michigan
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good.
    Many of us engage in doing God's work on earth through Christian acts. We find satisfaction, pride and self-worth in doing good for others in God's name. Success can be a trap, however. The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good explains the dangers and what happens when Christian service and good works lead to burnout, pride, or sin. It also advises readers on changing course.

    Peter Greer gives a candid account of how this can happen, using his experiences as CEO of HOPE International, a large Christian nonprofit that serves those in need by helping them help themselves. Greer uses stories from his own life and others in ministry to help readers protect themselves from disillusionment, vanity, and other dangers. He uses a wide variety of examples and situations as teaching tools with which readers can identify. If the reader fails to recognize himself in one chapter's situation, he is sure to come face to face with himself in another.

    This book serves as a compassionate warning to everyone who works in ministry or charitable nonprofits, from CEOs to weekend volunteers. It is easy to become obsessed with results, success, growth and progress in our ministries. Greer advises using God's measuring stick, rather than our own. Readers should be ready for some challenging and uncomfortable admissions of guilt and should pay attention to Greer's advice on repenting and working with love, for the glory of God.

    The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good includes end-of-chapter questions for personal reflection or group discussion as well as Scriptural and Internet references and pictures.

    I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review. This book is highly recommended for all who work in any Christian ministry and who seek to make their lives Christ-centered.
  3. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Practical, Yet Not A "Must Read"
    August 14, 2013
    CCGM
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    This review was written for The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good.
    As the President and CEO of HOPE International, Peter Greer knows a lot about "doing good". But in his book, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good (co-written with Anna Haggard), Greer talks about about the darker side of helping others. He is unflatteringly honest, sharing how his marriage was failing as he was busy leading an international Christian nonprofit.

    Each chapter is about a different spiritual danger. He writes about the danger of giving your family leftovers while working overtime in ministry. Another chapter focuses on the importance of deep friendships and deliberately choosing friends to hold you accountable. Later he writes about the danger of trying to please everyone around you. Overall, Greer touches on many different dangers to be aware of while serving.

    Greer included many anecdotes from his own life (including the time he was dragged by a gorilla!), but also from the lives of friends. At the end of each chapter, he provides reflection questions that would be especially helpful to someone currently serving in a ministry.

    This book would be good for leaders and lay people alike. Personally, I didn't find it thrilling or find much new information. It seemed like a lot of practical, good advice. It certainly could be a reminder and a "check-up" on your heart and motives for serving, however, in my opinion, it isn't a "must read".

    **I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  4. Myerstown, PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Required reading for anyone in Christian service
    July 24, 2013
    lmbartelt
    Myerstown, PA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good.
    No one tells you when you're signing up for nursery duty or applying to be a missionary or answering a call to pastoral ministry that it might be spiritually dangerous.

    But as Peter Greer writes in his new book The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good, Christian service, whether paid or volunteer, ought to come with a warning label. (Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reading copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.)

    "While charity can harm others, doing good can also wreak havoc on us. _ Without evaluating our motives, it is possible to love our service more than we love our Savior."

    Greer is the CEO of HOPE International, a nonprofit that focuses on microfinance as a means to end physical and spiritual poverty. His book is full of personal experiences of doing good for the wrong reasons with the wrong motive and paints an honest picture of what can happen in a person's life, family and ministry when service takes precedence over everything else.

    The book is funny and a little bit self-deprecating. Greer gives readers no reason to think he's got it all together or is a saint when it comes to serving for the right reasons. Even as the CEO of a nonprofit, he's still a human. He includes stories of others who have experienced personal failure while their ministry was thriving. It's a fascinating and quick read, though by no means is it an "easy" read.

    The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good is a warning as well as an encouragement to check your ego, your motives, and your personal relationships often in the midst of whatever job or ministry God calls you to. I wish this book had been published five years ago, before my husband went to seminary. And I'd recommend it to anyone who serves in the local church, as a longtime volunteer or full-time paid staff.

    Greer's message is that important.

    Practical, applicable, relevant, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good is not to be missed. And each chapter concludes with a link to bonus material on Greer's Web site in the form of photos and videos. I look forward to viewing these "extras."

    For more about Greer, visit his Website www.peterkgreer.com.
  5. Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A good read
    July 18, 2013
    Milk Donor Mama
    Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good.
    The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer is a discussion of vulnerability and burnout in acts of service.

    Do-gooders sacrifice their time, energy and sometimes even their money in helping others. Doing this again and again without break, thanks or respite can break even the hardiest of souls.

    Even with the best of intentions, these Samaritans can find themselves in a heap of trouble- safety wise, financially and even spiritually, as a result of helping their fellow man.

    In this book, Greer offers solutions and personal experiences about this issue.

    This book is clear and concise with a strong Biblical basis. Although the book is geared toward Christian leaders, I think the average once in a blue moon volunteer could also benefit from the lessons contained within its pages.

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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