What church leaders are saying about the book! READ HERE


Systems Thinking for Stifled Leaders and Stuck Churches
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How can church leaders be effective

without sacrificing their marriage, their family, or their health in the process? How can good leaders get stuck churches unstuck without becoming another casualty? 

Burnout or Breakout provides answers to both. The burnout epidemic among church leaders, combined with cultural volatility, uncertainty, and complexity catalyze with unhealthy church processes to get churches stuck. All these forces combine to stifle good leaders until it seems that no reasonable leadership effort can succeed. This book brings new insights to churches and church leaders frustrated with making tireless efforts to move the church, yet constantly falling short of their goals and objectives. It helps church leaders avoid quick-fix solutions that actually keep churches stuck by applying systemic, long-term solutions.

This book brings hope to stifled leaders on the verge of burnout. Building on biblical and experiential evidence, the author presents burnout as a systemic problem. Seeing from a systems perspective enables leaders to discover how their church really works and provides tools and strategies to help them realign their church system for health and effectiveness. Based on a comprehensive introduction to systems thinking, leaders are encouraged to see their congregations as complex systems of interrelated and interdependent elements. Effective leadership, from a systems perspective, aligns the church to achieve intended outcomes.

The Luminex Group
is forming a virtual

Learning community

Join John Messer for 4 ninety-minute virtual sessions that will cover the following questions and ideas found in his book:
  • What is a system? (Key characteristics.)
  • What are the big ideas of systems thinking?
  • How is the church a system? (Understanding a social system.)
  • How does systems thinking help me be a better church leader?
  • Systems thinking vs. linear thinking.
  • How can systems thinking help me avoid burnout?
  • Is systems thinking biblical?
  • What are the best systems thinking tools?
First Learning Community starts
February 15 from 1-2:30 PM.

Second Learning Community starts
April 12 from 7-8:30 PM.
Pick the one that best fits your schedule!
I want more info

Sign Up Now
Read what others have to say about Burnout Or Breakout.

Book Reviews

Practical tools and a clear framework.

In Burnout or Breakout, John Messer does an amazing job of providing practical tools and a clear framework for thinking in a more systematic (and strategic) way. Using relevant stories and models, he teaches us that ultimately a new way of thinking will allow leaders to excel beyond their current circumstances and overcome massive leadership challenges... that is, IF they are willing to do the hard work of exchanging their old bad habits for some new healthy ones. I can't wait to incorporate this book into some of the leadership development resources I use to train organizational leaders.

Bob Carlton (multiplicationguru.com)

Brings new insights to churches and church leaders.

Burnout or Breakout brings new insights to churches and church leaders frustrated with working tirelessly, yet constantly falling short of their goals and objectives. He boldly declares, “there are no dysfunctional churches!” and methodically demonstrates how what we might perceive to be as a church gone awry, is more accurately diagnosed as an organization lacking in functional structures. Framed within a comprehensive teaching of Systems Dynamics, John describes how “a church can be structured to accomplish the exact opposite of its stated mission” because the structure and mission are not properly aligned. The book brings new hope to leaders on the verge of or experiencing burnout by providing straight-forward solutions and resources to achieve genuine results. The rich and deep content is designed to help pastors realign their systems and strategies and offers significant value to audiences well beyond its original target. This pivotal work is far-reaching promising significant potential to benefit churches, Christian organizations, and businesses throughout the United States and across the world.

Dr. Virginia Richardson, Regent University

But I'm not a church leader!

"But I'm not a church leader!" you say. Neither am I, but the systems thinking framework in this book provides a very useful way to approach other "systems" in your life. Relationships, office politics, non-church organizations. With the systems ideas I learned from this book I understood conflicts better in each of these settings, and I can navigate them all more easily without spending so much emotional energy. I strongly recommend this book for anyone looking for a new perspective on any kind of relationship. It can help you too.