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Derailed by Tim Irwin

Book Review---Derailed by Tim Irwin, Ph.D.

Ok, so this isn't a book review I'm beholden to do for Thomas Nelson and the Book Review Bloggers Program. Instead, it's a book that Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson gave away to some of his blog readers recently. (Note that his blog is down for redesign until after Christmas.) So, I did get the book free, but am not expected to do anything but read it.

One of the joys I've had this past year is reading a few more business books than I previously have. Why haven't I read them in the past? Well, it's always bothered me that we seem to readily grab business practices into a church without considering the differences between church and business. Also, like anyone else, I've got a limited budget, and so must choose wisely what books I purchase. Generally, if it's something I'm unsure of, I wait for it to be cheap or until I get a chance to go the library. By then, though, I've either forgotten about it or the message isn't timely.

So, when Michael Hyatt decided to give away a stack of Derailed to his blog readers a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. I have spent some time in business, and, though I hope to never go back to corporate work, welcomed the chance to stretch my brain with a little business reading.

Then I hit the subject material. As the name implies, Derailed is about things not going right. Well, I've read a book or two like that before, such as John Maxwell's Failing Forward. So, I thought this would be a book with more recent examples of failures that people used to build into success. I was wrong on that assumption.

This book is about business in the same way The Blind Side is about football. The stories used as examples are found in the business world, but this work is about character. It's about what business reveals about the people that do it.

As such, my typical concern for badly applying business models into Biblical churches is unnecessary here. Instead, the danger is reversed, that churches and church leaders will see these as failings of “business” people that were chasing worldly wealth and so faltered from it.

If that happens, we'll miss valuable lessons about the people involved. We'll risk not seeing how we could improve the relationships which are the backbone of our organizations. We'll risk not seeing how the character of our leaders is what is most significant.

Worse than that, I would have missed it. Derailed is a cautionary work, but not of bad business decisions, but of character shortcomings. Some of the issues raised are a lack of character, others simply that one person's character wasn't right for their situation.

I won't give away the details, but Irwin has provided some warning signs to watch for and corrective actions to take when you see those signs. I'd highly recommend this book for anyone looking to make their way in the business world.

It's also an excellent read for people in the ministry world. Barring a re-release of J.D. Grey's Epitaphs for Eager Preachers, this should be mandatory reading for upcoming ministers to remind us of how important who we are is.


Oh make it easy, if you want to check this book out on Amazon, I put in a link to it.


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