Interview with Anne Jackson, Part 1

My friend, Anne Jackson, is a writer, speaker, and activist. In her newest book, Permission to Speak Freely, Anne chronicles her own story of growing up in church and being afraid to talk about certain “taboo” topics. She also shares some of the many “confessions” she received in response to the question she originally posed on her blog: “What is something you feel you can’t say in church or around other Christians?”

The premise of Permission to Speak Freely is that you are not alone in your battle with secrets and brokenness.

If you are just getting started with Evernote, I suggest that you buy Brett Kelly’s remarkably practical e-book, Evernote Essentials, 4.0. It will save you HOURS of learning Evernote on your own.

I first met Anne on Twitter. My wife, Gail, and I then had a chance to meet Anne and her husband, Chris when they were visiting Nashville. They subsequently moved to our neighborhood—literally!—and we have since become real-life friends.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Anne and talk about her book: how she came to write it, why Christians find it so difficult to admit to having problems, and how leaders can create “communities of grace.” I hope you enjoy it. Tomorrow, I will post Part 2.

To celebrate the publication of Anne’s new book, I gave away 100 copies of the book FREE. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: Why do you want a copy of this book? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Get My New, 3-Part Video Series—FREE! Ready to accomplish more of what matters? 2015 can be your best year ever. In my new video series, I show you exactly how to set goals that work. Click here to get started. It’s free—but only until Monday, December 8th.

Get my FREE video series now!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Dyaji Charles Bala

    Michael, of a truth, you are really a blessing to my life. Every single book you sent to me has been a scroll of revelations and being a young leader in Africa, I find them very helpful. It is on this premise that I dare to ask for this. I follow Anne Jackson on twitter, believe me she is such an awesome fellow. He words should be worth listening to. To walk into her mind via this gift of a book, I think will be totally great. I am looking forward to this dream-come-true.

  • Kingsly

    I think this book will be interesting and it would for sure makes us to express our self without any deceit and receive grace ..Expecting the interview TOMO and also will for sure read the book if i get one !! :)Thanks

  • Angela De Souza

    I LOVE Anne Jackson and can’t wait to read her book!

  • Geek for Him

    Video is saying it’s private so we can’t view it.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Argh. Sorry about that. It should be fixed now. Thanks.

  • Dan

    I’d love a copy of this book. I am in the process right now of leaving a secular job and traditional church ministry for a more authentic, relationship-driven ministry: opening a coffeehouse and teen center. This “third-space” ministry is all about relationships and conversations. Anne’s book/experiences I’m sure would add great insight to this process.

  • Angelo Gulina

    I’ll get that book.. even that you give me a FREE copy or not, because I think this author and her book are worthy to spend money for.
    But if you will send me, here in Italy, a FREE copy of this book, you’ll help to spread good christian literature in Europe :)

  • Anonymous

    Permission to Speak Freely is a book I would like to read. Often times, church people are too “nice” to talk about the hard things, the real things that everyone faces daily. I have witnessed first hand the ugliness inside a congregation and how it affects the pastor and his family. How good people lose their faith completely, and in some cases, never get it back. I pray that I am never that person that causes someone to turn their back on their faith.

    • Wanda

      My post above, forgot to sign in.

  • Kenny Goza

    This is something we all have asked ourselves. It’s good to have something that helps us know about how we dialogue about the taboo issues. This would be an interesting read

  • Jessica (jessgirl)

    I would love to read her book! Sounds so good and something i can use to help me through any day! I recently have been picking up the topic of reading more, as if i were in school! I have read my pastor’s book he wrote. On to another book while tryin to read a lil each day from the Bible! A single mom of 4 kids – its hard to read all the time :) But totally would love to read Anne’s book!! :) And if it is appropriate for 12 and 11 yr olds- ive even pass it on my my two oldest to read as well! :) Thanks for your time in reading my commment! God bless U and Ur family always :) Jess and kids :)

  • Nora

    I am continuing on my mission of personal development- started a year ago as I moved to the ranks of the unemployed. Amazingly, as my job was coming to an end, I felt that it was more an opportunity than a problem. A large part of my mission has been to read for my soul as well as my work. I am finding that the two are actually one- that my work should and can come from my soul. Wow, I can take care of my soul while I work and not wait to do this until work is done. As I move down this path, reading books that I would not have chosen in the past, I am growing and finding my way and working to help others do the same. I am spreading my wings- talking to people more openly and asking more questions. I find that what I read is the foundation of what I seek. This website/blog has been a great learning place, an open door to my mission. I promise to read this book, knowing that it is a promise to myself- a promise, that I promise to keep. I am blessed to have discovered that it is okay to have a life mission before it is too late. I am blessed to have the ability to learn from others. Thank you for your continued encouragement through your words and support through your efforts to share books such as Anne Jackson’s.

  • haydeeang

    Hey, I like this! Kinda reminds me of myself. I wasn’t fully aware of me being outspoken (cos I love honesty), till some friends told me how they actually admired me for being brave to share openly about my life, views, & discuss sensitive issues. Some people hate my guts though. Well maybe I need to learn more tact, but I’m glad to be wired like this.

  • FGHart

    “It’s such a weight when you carry a secret”, yes! Secrets have power. Secrets create shame. Secrets separate us from God. Anne’s respect for Church is apparent, as is the humility with which she shares her own secrets. {applause} This is a book to be shared!

  • Martha aka SwitchingGranny

    Grace! Thats why! I want to know the Giver of Grace more intimately.. I want to grow in grace more profoundly. Thats why I want a copy of Anne Jackson’s book!

  • Jocelyn

    I would love a copy of his book! I would love to hear another preachers kid perspective.

  • Chris Jeub

    Sounds like a fantastic book. I love the video format, too! Keep them coming, Michael.

    Transparency is important. I’ve found that God rewards our courage to confess, to be transparent and real. The transparency that Anne speaks of sounds liberating, one that would lead to relationship with God and others.

  • Sandy Gilbert

    I understand the questions going unanswered in church and the troubles it can leave on a persons life. The church preaches perfection to an imperfect people. We are all like children that want to have our questions answered but we are so afraid of the “what will they think of me” for even having these kinds of questions. I was raised in a family with two uncles that were preachers. I saw the consequence of don’t ask,on the family. I would love to read the book and share the information.

  • Chris Spradlin

    I have several young kids and i want them to have permission to speak freely at a very young age!

  • Teresa

    Why don’t Christians share their burdens? I learned it first hand when my teenage daughter became pregnant. As a friend of mine described to me “Christians eat their own”.

  • Kristen

    Pushing the boundaries of tradition. That’s my life, and it isn’t always taken warmly to. How do you respond to a homeschooling mom of 10 kids (including 7 internationally adopted kids) who starts a weekly ministry in her own home, who is none-too-shy about being very vocal about social justice issues – all in a very conservative, traditional, rural town in Eastern MT? And yet, it’s by pushing the boundaries that I can dig into areas no one else can. I long create safe spaces where church can enter the conversation about anything with candor and grace? This book sounds amazing.

  • Connie Brown

    I want to read it! Why? I’ve lived with too many secrets for too long to even know where to begin to explain how much I want to read what someone else has to say about this problem in churches. Wow! I love this book idea! It’s taken me years to get more open and I’d love to know good ways to continue to be real to myself and others inside and out. Isn’t that what we’re to be in the church? Honest, real, vulnerable, in ways that are healing and helpful? Why, why, why, can’t we tear down the walls and really love one another without masks? At least now and then when it is appropriate. I think if we could do this more we’d unleash God’s amazing power of Love.

  • Felicity

    I’m interested to see this artistic format. Also, I sent in a confession and wonder if it is in there somewhere! :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      The format is beautiful!

  • Richard

    It’s about time things in the church are talked about freely. We need to acknowledge things in order to deal with them them. Great move on your part.

  • Victorya Rogers

    A much needed book. Being a Christian life coach for women, I hear daily about so much pain that could have been avoided if the women had someone in their church they could trust and speak to freely about what was happening in their lives, rather than pretend all was well and perfect behind closed doors. I’m anxious to read this book and recommend it to my friends, colleagues and clients.

  • Lillian Boyd

    I belong to a small women’s group at my home church. In the course of 5 years, we’ve been through thick and thin – sharing and being open with each other. I would like to introduce Ann Jackson’s book PTSF to the group, as we’ve studied a number of titles together. This would be a priceless addition to our book club. It’s time to be real and take off the mask.

  • Tommy Lane

    We have been discussing things like this in our church recently. I know a few people who are struggling with issues in their lives and picture the church as condemning rather than a positive and healing. I would love to read this book to get a good perspective on how to speak freely in church without being condemned and share this perspective it with others.

  • Jackie Erickson

    I lead a adult bible study group at our church and Anne’s book would be a great starting point to open dialog on these very topics. Thanks for leadership.

  • mary pudaite keating

    Frederick Buechner shares these same sentiments in the introduction of his book, “Telling Secrets”–he shares that essentially we all have the same secrets and they are telling and very important to tell. He writes, “telling in that we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else.” He continues to impart that we should tell our secrets so that we do not accept “highly edited versions of ourselves” and also so that we can see where we have been and where we are going and hopefully also so that others will share secrets of their own. This seems to resonate with what Anne Jackson is sharing in this book. I would love to read her book and learn from what she has to say!

  • AaronWMatthews

    I’m excited about “Permission To Speak Freely”. Anne’s book “Mad Church Disease” really blessed my life. I am a new pastor, and the insight she has laid out has equipped me to deal with some of the pressures of the job. It’s a blessing to be called to shepherd a flock, but I know I can use all the help I can get. I’m looking forward to soaking up some truth in the new book also. Anne was supposed to speak at the RightNow Conference this past week in Irving, TX. She was a major reason I went, but due to family issues she was unable to attend. I was hoping to meet her, but her family needs to come first.

  • Dave Gorden

    My good friend Zig Ziglar and I agree that the older we get, the bolder we get. I am always interested to learn what people think is ok to share about their Faith. This book tells what she was comfortable talking about in Church, another angle for me. Reading the book will be an opportunity for me to learn more.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Elizabeth

    My husband and I work in a church that is currently doing a sermon series that is tackling this subject. We work in a ministry that allows us to have deep discussions on possibly taboo subjects with young people. I feel like this book would be insightful for both my husband and I and the places that we are finding ourselves in these days.

  • Tommy Rhodes

    We are members of a very large church, however we attend a very small church because my wife plays the piano and leads the music. But the congregation consists mainly of an older age. Some subjects seem to be a given they are not to be brought up. The youth attendance usually consists of the preachers children who has only been here for 2 weeks. This church is going to die out if other younger couples and youth are not encouraged to join. But the core older group only wants the same service every week and do not want to change. Please help this church and us to discuss different subjects and ways to grow this church. And to bring up Taboo subjects the older generation don’t want to discuss or bring into the services. Thank You

  • Mary

    As a minister at a church, I very often struggle to let people see the real me. Everyone loves the happy, funny, caring, giving church minister me. I often don’t think they would love the me who has real struggles with lonliness, singleness, following God’s will. I greatly appreciate Anne for her boldness in sharing who she is and long to form relationships with my Christian friends where I can occasionally struggle.

  • Butterscotchbar

    I want to read it and love it and share it.

  • Courtney

    I am a pastor’s wife & although I love my position & wouldn’t change it for anything, it is sometimes a very lonely position. There are times I feel that I am alone in struggles because I have to be so careful who I open my heart to. I believe this book could help with that. In turn, I will share it & help other women & pastors’ wives. :)

  • Anonymous

    I have grown up in church and often wondered about the masks everyone wore on Sunday. The lives that have really touched my life in all apsects were those who took off ther masks for me to see them in all their glory & pain. I am thankful those people loved me enough to let me see them as they really are…travelers to the throne of grace. I am thankful for the road they blazed for me.

  • Sara

    I have been following Anne (@AnneJackson/@flowerdust) for awhile now (thanks to Michael & Lindsey!) and I went to the store the other day to find her new book… but realized it’s not out yet! So I was excited to see your post today about “Permission to Speak Freely” — I’m looking forward to sharing it with others. Many Thanks!

  • Suzanne

    I’d love a copy of this book because I grew up as a pastor’s kid, feeling that I had to be different than everyone else in order to earn God’s approval. Several years later, I encountered more than one bout of major depression and found myself getting angry with God, though I was terrified of showing it. I love Anne’s commitment to “courage and encourage.” It cheers me on in helping make the church a more transparent place where all can bring their problems and experience genuine love and healing.

  • Pat

    Mike, thanks for sharing this interview with us. Anne is such a brave young lady to be so open about her life. My Mother was the preacher’s kid and we attended my Grandfather’s church for the first few years of my life. My Mother never broke free from that stigma of not discussing many subjects that young women so desperately need to talk about. Thus I left home insecure and very naive about life.

  • Andy Janning

    This book, and this topic, strikes very close to home for me. The Christian Church should be the place where healing, openness, forgiveness, and grace begins and breathes. Too often, though, it’s perceived as a finish line where only the successful, happy, smiling, and gracious can show off their salvation. Weakness and struggle is dismissed, sin is buried, and brokenness is mocked in whispers and rumor. I pray that this book, and the conversations it will spark, will help countless planks and scales fall away and help us love others as Jesus taught. And Lord, may all that and more start with me.

  • Kayla Gassaway

    I love Anne Jackson. Her writing is refreshingly honest. I would love her new book because I grew up in a family an church that didn’t address anything “taboo”. I have since learned that God’s love isn’t contingent upon what you do or clothes you wear or not watching “bad” movies or the issues you seem to have but can’t talk about. But simply because He loves you. I would love the opportunity to read about someones elses experience with feeling closed up in a box at the place you should be able to open your heart and share the innest most secrets or questions, a place we know as Church.

  • Tracy Atcheson

    I appreciate Ms. Jackson’s candor and transparency in the interview with Mr. Hyatt. I would really enjoy reading this book which emanated from one simple yet complex question.

  • Linda S

    As a leader in our church I have come to realize that there are more ‘hurting people’ within the body of Christ than ‘non-hurting people’. Not to mention all the hurting people that aren’t involved in our churches. We need to stay in tune so that we can minister to them – within and without! I believe this would be a good read and reminder.

  • Kim Seberg

    I have already purchased this book from Barnes and Noble. When I picked it up at the book store, I flipped through it (the format is great) and instantly came across a confession that reminded me of something one of my favorite persons on the planet is struggling with. My eyes filled up with tears immediately. I sat down in one of the chairs at B & N and read through the first half of the book. I decided I should probably finish it at my house, purchased it, took it home, and finished reading it. I drove to visit my friend two days later solely for the purpose of giving my friend this book. I know my friend is already planning to pass it on to someone else after reading it. What would I do with another copy? Give it away. I think that’s what it was designed for. To be shared.

  • Lynette Sowell

    I am a firm believer in wearing our “Sunday Best” as part of our worship. But I think the church sometimes takes that too far…I think there is an appropriate place to share our hurts and struggles, but it’s easy to think that we don’t have a place to do that. Also, I find that the church doesn’t always know how to discuss disagreements, either. You can imagine the shock when teaching adult Sunday School one morning, I voiced that “I know there’s people in this church that really don’t like each other.” You can imagine the sound of crickets in the room. We don’t talk about our differences enough, either to work through them in a healthy way, even if we agree to disagree.

  • Tom Robinson

    I would really like to hear and understand what topics Anne feels are off-limits in the Church, both today and the one she grew up in. Few things are left unsaid, but I’m sure her slant is different. As Church communications coordinator, teacher and mentor, it would help me to know how we need to be reaching those who may be too hurt to share with anyone.

  • Karen Rabbitt, MSW

    I’m a psychotherapist who speaks on emotionally healthy Christianity, so I’m always looking for resources. Retreat attendees from churches where emotional difficulties are suppressed need to hear it’s okay for obedient Christians to get angry or sad or feel fear. It’s what we do with those feelings that matter. I will certainly read it! And, if I find value in it, will recommend it. Thanks for the opportunity. Blessings, Karen

  • Len

    I like the idea of sharing, both yours (for offering the book), Ann Jackson (for writing it), and hopefully, me (for sharing, via twitter, etc… my opinions on the book)

  • Greg Wood

    There are so many things that I cannot talk about freely around other Christians. As we are in full time ministry and are required to raise our own support, this is even more dangerous. We lost a supporter once simply because I made an admission at a Bible study and he couldn’t support someone who had been involved in that.

    My wife is divorced and we married prior to my coming to know Christ. This is something that she SHOULD be able to use to help others but there is always that fear that it could affect our support. BTW SHe does it anyway :-)

  • RWR

    I speak freely without permission so I want to learn why you would need permission ;-)

  • Neal MD

    Times, they are a’changin’. For the church to flourish and reach “the greatest unchuched generation” we have to change. It’s been hard to be honest in the church – especially in leadership. As a young pastor in a traditionally lead church, we are yearning for an authenticity from the church body in its entirety.

  • dawn robinson

    Finally! I only wish that I had been given the opportunity to contribute to her original blog posting. I too have “grown up” in the church (physically at least) and know first hand the experience of a heart that is aching for someone to tell them this is normal to feel this way, you’re not the only to have these doubts, these questions. I can’t wait to experience the stories in this book and to be able to share them with others.

  • Jennifer Ross

    I’d LOVE to read this book! I’m a pastor’s wife and very interested in why people might feel excluded at church. I want to know what issues/needs people are dying to talk about and share with others who will genuinely care.

  • Chris Foster

    What a great interview I appreciate the honesty, the church as a whole must return to that authenticity. After Moses came down from the mountain, he had to cover his face because of the glory of God, however after the glory had left he continued to cover his face and his followers thought it was because the glory was still there, but in reality it was a mask. Those types of mask are still being worn by church leaders and church members alike. It seems this book, will help remove the mask of a church culture who is acting as if the glory of God were still on her face.
    As a Christian Leader, and Pastor I believe we need a revival of authenticity.

  • Bruce

    My wife has dealt with similar issues as Ann for over 4 years now. If Ann’s struggles and message of hope can bring a glimmer of hope to by wife I would be grateful.

  • chris

    I spend my day addressing concerns that others chose to ignore. Opening the box on addiction and exposing it to the world. As a regenerated addict, I am attempting to get the church to fully engage the culture by joinging Jeusus in the restoration effort.

  • Diane Yuhas

    I have always hated the idea that we have to hide our feelings, our hearts, and our real lives in order to be accepted at church. At the beginning, I refused to do so and was surprised at how many women came to me, one by one, to say how much they appreciated my candor. It enabled them to begin to open up within our small group and we could pray together. Still, there remained a definite secretiveness and I could see that most did not feel safe enough to go much further. They did not view the church as able to help. I want Anne Jackson’s book because I’d like to know more about other people’s experiences and what Anne has to say about it. I’d like to encourage openness, sharing, love and acceptance among the women of my church.

  • Jeff

    This looks like a great book I should like to read. It reminds me of a Casting Crown song called the “Stained Glass Masquerade”. “Are we happy plastic people, Under shiny plastic steeples, With walls around our weakness, And smiles to hide our pain”. This book seems to also see that we need God’s grace to work through our pains and fears.

  • Diane Yuhas

    Oh, and I promise to read the book!

  • Mike Andrews

    Praying that this book and Anne’s speaking would continue to help people find freedom from the shame that keeping quiet may be causing.

  • Caleb Griffin

    I write a Christian-themed blog about how to work well with others. A big reason why we sometimes don’t get along is that we fail to extend grace to one another. I’d love to learn more about these “communities of grace” and share the message far and wide.

    And if I don’t get this book for free, I probably won’t buy it until April of next year, after my wedding. Every free dime from now until then is going to that wedding. Who knew flowers cost so much?

  • Andrew VanDerLinden

    As a ministry leader this book sounds like a must read. Before I can help someone be open and honest with the problems they are facing, I need to be willing to own my own issues and work through them. This book may help me lead myself first before I try to lead others in the area of grace and forgiveness.

  • Chaplain Greg Woodard

    I have heard Anne speak about her book. In my experience in the church, I have found that too many of us are not willing to “speak freely.” In my ministry, I have had opportunity to work in environments where plain speaking was encouraged (faith based drug & alcohol recovery program, and now in the US Navy chaplaincy working with Marines.
    I’d like a copy of the book as a further example of what speaking freely and directly is like.

  • kara satter

    I want to read this book because I work with a people group who are broken and are in need of the freedom of Christ. I have been broken and it is not a place to be…I want to be better equipt to help those around me!

  • christy conant

    Would love to know how to love people better in the church- i think this book will give a lot of insight on what folks need to feel loved and supported in their journey.

  • TNeal

    The silence at times is deafening. At a mission’s conference, I spoke to a gathering of men. When I addressed the personal struggles I had with pornography,the fact I couldn’t run off to another country and escape the internal demons, men approached me afterward and confessed to their own struggles. Surprise, both mine and theirs, permeated our exchanges. Why? Because in church we don’t talk about such things. I’m curious as to the depth and honesty of Anne Jackson’s book.

  • Olga Griffin

    As children we are taught to wear masks in order to protect the family name, fit in with society and simply to be acceptable. It is such a danger because we can’t help others who are going through similar issues when we hide our “junk” from them. I actually wrote a blog on it on Halloween.

    The information from Anne would be helpful in my ministry to women.

  • mercytattoo

    From the little I know of Anne’s story, to some regard I feel like a twin separated at birth. Yet where she found freedom through the journey in and out of promiscuity & porn addiction I found my freedom through ruining and my life as “the good girl”. I was sexually abused at 5. And kept that a secret for 28 years. In coming to freedom I had to face the pain of my silence, own other abuses that occurred and end the victim cycle. A lot of this played out in churchland. I used to be a pastor’s wife. i used to be a wife. now i’m just human. but I am free. For the sake of my “unruining” and breathing life into my four children who suffered too long with a depressed, nearly suicidal “zombie mom”, by the grace of God I changed my life. I am still working through my “church issues” but growing in love & compassion there. I am alive. I chose that. Now I want my life to matter. For me. For my kids. And for people who i know are struggling to Awaken just like I did. I can’t say i’ve made the best choices throughout my life. But somehow, steadfast love & mercy weaves through it all and woos us to awareness and REAL living. I am so grateful. Something tells me there is good for me in Anne’s story.

  • Anne Lang Bundy

    This book definitely intrigues me. I’d be thrilled to have an autographed copy from Anne, and can readily promise to put it at the top of my reading pile.

    This Friday I’ll post the third of three articles for Q&A on “Can Marital Sex be Sinful?” The discussion on previous posts has touched specifically on Christians feeling that they don’t know where to turn with their toughest questions. The lay counseling I’ve done with women leads me to believe that the church is suffering and weaker than it might be if there were more safe places for members of Christ’s Body to understand the grace God makes available for our every need—and if there were more mature Christians who understood how to be conduits of that grace.

  • Robert

    As a youth pastor looking to transition into a senior pastor role, I would enjoy reading this book. I get the sense that some things Anne speaks to/writes about are things bouncing around in my head; and it’s always good to hear someone else confirm your thoughts!
    I’ve only been in vocational ministry for 8 1/2 years, and although it doesn’t suprise me anymore, there really are a lot of secrets hiding around our churches. We’ve had the privilege of hearing people reveal theirs’ for the first time and we want to keep on helping them. Seems like the book would provide some support for this issue.
    So, in the words of Donkey from Shrek, “Pick me! Pick me!”

  • hochrami

    I’ve been in the church for 23 years, am a licensed minister, and feel like I’m alone. I can’t share my heart with people because I’m afraid they’ll judge me and stop receiving from me if they know that I struggle with depression and have views that aren’t supported by “the church”. I was against burning the Koran, I think people will be surprised to see some homosexuals when they get to heaven, I have had times that I’ve questioned my faith.

    I guess I should know that I’m not alone out there, but it gets hard when you can’t talk to people to find out.

  • Jennifer

    I would like to read this book because I lived with a “secret” for years in the church and felt like if anyone knew I would be “outed”… So many of us struggle with different things yet, we are afraid to open up and say so.. It’s important, especially in the church, to be able to speak freely.

  • Matt Snyder

    The church needs to be a place that people can come and open up about any topic, not just the ‘pre-approved, safe’ topics. I would love to have the opportunity to hear someone else’s opinion on this.

  • Christopher Scott

    I would love to receive a copy to read more about the topic of sharing secrets in the church environment.

    Like many others, I had an addiction I struggled with for eleven years that I never shared with anyone at church. It was not until a close friend brought up the topic to me one-to-one, outside of church and faith, that I was actually able to deal with my addiction. I’ve been free of that addiction for almost thirteen months now.

  • David L. Henderson, M.D.

    As a Christian and a psychiatrist, I believe this is an important topic to address. I do believe that openness within the body of Christ is important. We need to feel free to open up about our personal struggles in life in an effort to find grace and mercy from those around us. I do have two cautions, however. One is that some people err on the side of over saying to much. It is not necessary to describe all the gory details of one’s struggle with everyone around. A few trusted friends and mentors is often all that is necessary to help with accountability. In fact, one reason that people “vomit” all their problems on others is that they have a deep insecurity that will not allow them to go deeper in relationships with others unless the other individual can accept every part of them. This puts all the responsibility on someone else, rather than taking responsibility for one’s own self-acceptance.

    Two, make sure that you understand that when you open up about your struggles, part of redemption, love, and goodness is experiencing the consequences for your sin. If you are opening up and not prepared to face the consequences, you may be setting yourself up to be disillusioned by a church doing what is right in the face of sin. A pastor who tells his congregation that he has been having an affair should not expect to keep his position simply because he has been honest about his struggle. Remember, King David was still punished when he opened up about his sin with Bathsheba, even though God was merciful to him in the process.

  • Lauren Tucker

    I can totally relate to Anne’s story having married into a pastor’s family. I often feel the pressure to not open up about my struggles, fears, and questions for fear of judgment from others. These preset expectations often placed on those in leadership positions can hinder the ability to create genuine community.With the students we are currently working with at our church, we are trying to create a sense of community founded on authenticity and genuineness with one another. Without authenticity, community will never be how God intended.

  • Cara Putman

    This is a fascinating concept. I ran across her blog last week, and this is a critical question we have to confront. The church has to become a place that people can remove the masks and be real.

  • Johnie Stafford

    First of all, I love Anne Jackson’s writing. Her experiences ring true in my own life having grown up in a small town church. Now, I’m part of a church community that strives to shake the stereotypical church image that talks a good game, but does nothing. I would love to read Anne’s perspective on the things we don’t like to talk about, and how we can embrace our world.


  • Louise

    I would like to receive a copy of this book because I would very much like to read about the things deemed “taboo” topics within a church body. I think the more these “taboos” are exposed, the more they will shrink until one day they are non-existent. How glorious that day will be!
    Thank you and God Bless you forever!

  • Lissa

    This books sounds like it would be helpful in understanding why some Christians react to others’ trials the way they do. I have experienced this myself, I spoke about a weakness in my faith and the person to whom I was speaking literally physically recoiled, gasped and said that I must never, ever think that way. And then she walked away from me. This was the worship leader of our church! Because of that episode, I left the choir and have largely stopped going to that church at all.

    I am also dealing with a huge problem in my marriage – one that I cannot talk about with anyone. It’s excruciatingly painful, and I have no one I feel I can share it with. I tried an online forum for Christian women, but even there – faceless and anonymous – I was met with harsh judgment.

    I need this book … one way or another.

    In His Blessed name …

  • LeAnne Wessel

    I recently divorced my husband who was a member, although not active, of the church I joined about 5 years ago. I found that our relationship (the ex and I) increasingly worsened as my faith and involvement in this church strengthened. I now find that I am less likely to attend church or church funtions now that the divorce is final. I feel like I don’t belong. That I did something unforgivable in the sight of the members in getting a divorce.

  • Midge

    Saw Anne at a forum in Atlanta with Carlos Whittaker and follow her story online. Would love to put all the pieces together by reading her book. Also my daughter and son-in-law appeared in cow suits at Catalyst for her two years ago and would love to share this book with them!

  • Timothy Fish

    After watching that video, I can’t help but think how blessed I’ve been to be a part of the churches that I’ve been in. While all churches have problems, and I’ve known of churches with those problems, I’ve never had to deal with any of those problems directly.

  • Curtis Marshall

    I’ve seen a lot of books promoted on your blog, and this is the first one that I have responded too because Anne’s story really resonated with me. I’m a new Youth Pastor in Rio Rancho, NM and I grew up with the opposite experience of Anne’s. I too was a PK (Pastor’s Kid), but I never felt the need to rebel while some of my siblings did. I want to better understand the issues that people have with the church so that I can better understand my family and better understand the students that have been placed in my charge. I would love to get my hands on this book!

  • Alex Murphy

    Working within a Christian organization being a part of teams and at time leading teams, I frequently have the opportunity to create a culture for or against a grace filled community. I have a daily opportunity to create a grace filled or graceless culture within my own heart. I’d love to read this and have more insight and encouragement toward the healthier of the two.

  • Barry Holbrook

    Having been a Christian for 21 years and living under the truthful assumption that the truth will set you free I began asking myself “Why, if I am free, do I feel so caged up?” Jesus had released me from prison and the people who were called by his name constructed a brand new prison around me! I have discovered that speaking freely, under the leadership of the HOly Sprit, can be a sentence of “solitary confinement”– those who celebrate freedom hold the keys to my cell.
    I would love to read this book. I need to read this book.

  • Kim

    3 reasons I want this book:
    (1) Honestly about our pain. Seeing God make beauty out of broken things. Extending grace to those who are honest. These have been recurring themes in my circle of friends and within the ministry of our church over the past few months.
    (2) I enjoy Anne’s writing.
    (3) I’ve been asked if our church can co-sponsor a ‘Permission to Speak Freely’ tour to our city in the spring, so… I’m thinkin’ I need to read the thing before I can promote it. :)

  • Linda

    I know you said to be creative about why I want this book, but I’m going to just say it out of my heart and not ‘try’ to win it. There are things in my own life that have not been accepted in the church, and was even denied help because of it. I was rejected all over again. Through counseling I realized that not everyone in the church understands difficult issues. I would love to hear how Anne approached these areas in her book.

  • Jeff Partain

    I’d love to read Anne’s book. I bought her first one and loved it and this topic hits close to home. I’m a part time youth minister and high school English teacher and have always tried to help our own teens be more transparent in their faith (for good and bad). I’ve always kept my own secrets due to not knowing how they would be accepted or if it would affect my job as a minister. On another personal note, Anne’s writings simply inspire me. I already miss her old website and twitter, but am excited about the new changes she is making on her social networks and look forward to reading more essays and poems by her in 2011.

  • Linda

    I forgot to say that I promise to read it. And I will most likely blog on it, as that is the goal of my blog.

  • Paulette

    I lead a women’s small group and I try and be transparent about my own struggles when it is appropriate. I think that helps others feel it’s OK to share what they’re living with also. I would love to read the book to get more insight into taboos and helping others get real.

  • Tess Mallory

    As a Christian and a writer who has struggled with depression since the age of six, and who has never been able to voice this in Christian circles without being thought weak, faithless, demon-oppressed, or simply crazy, I have a burning desire to read Anne’s book, Permission to Speak Freely. I am seeking the courage to write my own book about my experience with depression and faith and I think Anne’s book will be a great source of encouragement and inspiration. I follow Flowerdust/Anne on Twitter and am always blessed to know that someone else out there gets it and is speaking out with bravery and strength.

  • Doug Hibbard

    I was able to get this particular book through Booksneeze, and cannot recommend enough to those of you who don’t get a free one: go buy it and read it. Seriously, we are in a time within churches that we do not communicate with each other, and the isolation is killing us all.

    So, wait a week to see if you get a free one, and if not, go buy one.

  • Bob Ewoldt

    My wife and I have a blog,, and we deal with some of these issues. One of these “taboo” issues in my wife’s life has been having a child outside of wedlock, and she’s been writing about it on our blog. As in Anne Jackson’s experience, it’s amazing to hear the things that we hear about when people hear my wife’s story–how she went from rebellion against God, then reconciling with God, her parents, the church–and how real these issues are in the church. I’m interested in reading the book to find out what things, if any, Anne suggests the church can do to encourage the discussion of these “taboo” topics.

  • Mar

    I want to read this book after watching Anne Jackson’s interview and seeing her youtube introduction to the book. Anne has touched on a very sensitive and often hidden realm of our church lives. Why am I afraid to hear these hidden thoughts? I hope that I can get a glimpse into others’ hearts through Anne’s work. Thank you, Anne, for going there. Thank you, Anne, for asking the hard questions and being willing to listen.

  • Calvin

    because we all should have permission to speak freely

  • …adam

    I would love a copy of this book, but its hard to express, so here it is in haiku form:

    It is hard to share
    Especially in churches
    We can change that now

    PS: I also promise to read the book. Thanks!

  • John Alexander

    I want to read this book to learn how to speak freely in church! Plus I love Anne Jackson!

  • Joseph

    This sounds fascinating to me. As I have a different background than many of the people I attend church with, I am always careful about what I choose to say. I worry that if I share the wrong thing about my past, it will make present relationships more difficult. While I don’t want to just blend into the crowd and ignore the differences that make me unique, I also don’t want to make people uncomfortable by sharing things they can’t relate to or understand. This kind of book could open the eyes of many people to how unintentionally stifling the church environment can be to discussing the things that matter most.

  • Doug

    I want this book because it names my everyday struggle as a prophetic voice trying to advocate for the outsider at my church. Plus, Anne rocks. And she knows that. (Haven’t I told her so on more than one occasion?)

  • Will Johnston

    Michael, thanks for doing another book giveaway. If I get a copy, not only will I read it, I’ll review it on my blog as well.

  • Mary

    Taboo topics among Christ-followers are common no matter where you’re from. Its nice to know that there is someone willing to take the initiative and brave stance to write about them. I think I would find that book an interesting read and would like the opportunity to comment after recieving a copy. Thanks.

  • Phil Owen

    WE LOVE US SOME ANNE! As a reader of Anne’s blog, her honesty and openness have been encouraging, thought-provoking, and challenging.

    Permission to Speak Freely is on the upcoming ‘to-read’ list one way or another. I suppose i shouldn’t tell you that. As a publisher, you’re now thinking…’WOO-HOO…HE SAID HE’S PAYING…LET’S GIVE THE BOOK TO SOMEONE ELSE’. So nevermind…it’s TOTALLY NOT on my ‘to-read’ list…unless i get a free copy…then we’ll talk.

    (see that it’s kinda like reverse psychology…but now that i’m talking about it, it’s like reverse-reverse psychology…so i guess it’s just psychology).

  • Wanda

    This book is important for church goers. Recently in a weekly service, I witnessed someone step out and share his past drug addiction, only after stating that he was really afraid to do so because he was concerned what church people would think. It was a valid fear, but I was proud of his courage and hope that there was no one who judged him because of his revelation. We need to be able to talk in church, honestly, to help one another.

  • Lauree

    hmmm. i need this book because i need to know to share myself…. especially at church. i am willing to give to others, to encourage others, but not so willing to share the really un-pretty stuff. if i do i take it back QUICKLY.

    thanks michael… and anne.

  • Andy Allen

    My wife and I both grew up in church. We’ve both been in full-time ministry work for many years now. It’s a constant joke (and point of frustration) that we must monitor and/or sensor our real stories or feelings or thoughts when interacting with most Christians and churches.

    We’ve decided to live true to ourselves and to our calling, but many times this becomes a liability when living and speaking honestly in churches.

    Both my wife and I would love to read Ann’s new book. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy here Michael.

  • Christa

    I’ve been following Anne on Twitter for quite some time now. I think its great that she has written this book. As Christians, we should know better that its beneficial for us to be honest about about our thoughts, our hangups, our reactions to others actions and about our own sin. We need to remember that we are all sinners and that we all can be forgiven by God’s grace.

  • Caroline

    Anne sounds like she’s tackling some great topics here. Two big topics that are so important and so convicting are hypocrisy in what we say our beliefs are verses our what our actions show and having trust in and being honest in our communities of believers. Feeling like topics are taboo seems to really show how we can sometimes exclude godly love and forgiveness from our relationships. What a case for the need for intentional community. All of these things resonate so strongly with living authentically and fully for Christ! I like to read anything I can that tackles these topics. If many of the stories she shares include conclusions, I hope that God’s grace is evident, as well as our need to live real, honest lives for Him and with others.

    I tweeted about this:

    I do promise to read this book. Thank you for this opportunity.

  • Amanda Gascho

    So… Phil Owen and I went to college together. Introduced me to my husband. I’d like to say my original comment was far funnier than his, but out of respect for a man to whom I owe so much, I’ll refrain. I don’t think we were in the same Psych class though. ha ha ha Seriously though, one of the core values in our church plant is “be real,” and I’m looking for a book to go through with a bunch of gals soon. I follow Anne’s blog, and I would love a copy of the book.

  • Amanda Gascho

    So… Phil Owen and I went to college together. He introduced me to my husband. I’d like to say my original comment was far funnier than his, but out of respect for a man to whom I owe so much, I’ll refrain. I don’t think we were in the same Psych class though. ha ha ha Seriously though, one of the core values in our church plant is “be real,” and I’m looking for a book to go through with a bunch of gals soon. I follow Anne’s blog, and I would love a copy of the book.

  • Kimberly Teamer

    I really enjoyed this interview. I can’t wait to hear more.

  • Joni

    I long for Permission to Speak Freely! As a pastor’s wife, there are so many tank traps to fall into no matter what I do or do not say. It’s not that I have anything that is truly hurtful or harmful to communicate. I just need, crave, yearn, thirst, hunger and ache for the freedom to speak FREELY!

  • Renata

    The Christian church environment should be the very model of genuine agape love embracing people from all walks of life. Yet this is the place in which we as Christians find it most difficult to truly be ourselves, to ask tough life questions and to display our innermost insecurities. How sad and tragic this is! This should be the ultimate place of freedom to learn from both God’s Word as well as from a loving community of fellow believers.
    Growing up I did constantly feel the need to live up to the model Christian “standard” of religious rules do’s and don’ts…etc. Whether voiced or not, judgment lingered. Memories of rigidness and intolerance still nag me from my childhood. Anne Jackson’s personal experience will definitely be a confidence booster filled with encouragement and I certainly promise and look forward to reading this book.

  • Roy Wallen

    As a lay leader in our local church, a bibilophile, and a book reviewer, I would like to read and review this book. It should be a help in our church and in working with individuals.

  • Drew Flores

    I have read “Mad Church Disease” by Anne Jackson and it was one of the main reasons I stayed in ministry work. I love her passion for the church and have been inspired because of it. I know there are some messed situations and people within the church and to me it is even more incentive to love on them. Anne Jackson’s words are full of honesty and that is something that is hard to find now a days.

    Also I live in west Texas so I can relate to her on that level.

  • Diane Busch

    Seems as if this book could hit home for many people. So many hurting and broken people in our world and in our churches. We are all sinners, even when we keep it a secret. I am a church librarian, so I read many books before adding them to our library collection. I would love to receive a free copy of this book so I can read it personally and then donate it to our library, to give many others a chance to also read this book of hope. I can foresee this book being checked out by many patrons.

  • Mandy Santos

    I’ve loved getting to know Anne through her blog and twitter. Her openness and candidness is so refreshing for the Church. I can’t wait to see how God continues to use her and her gift of writing to bring hope and healing to those who have felt rejected by the Church. Thanks Anne!

    I’d love to win a free copy, but if not I will still buy it and read it. :)

  • Dalton Paul Saunders

    I would like a book to help understand how to make a “community of grace” at my company.

  • Adrienne D.

    I’m not familiar with Anne’s work, but as a pastor’s wife, I’m very familiar with the problem of people hiding their fears and failures and the kind of enslavement it produces, and I’m always looking for material that can help people find the freedom to be themselves and take joy in it. I’d love to read Anne’s book and delight in recommending it to others.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! I’d love a chance to read Anne’s new book. Pick me, please!

  • Jeff Randleman

    Awesome! I’d love a chance to read Anne’s new book. Pick me, please! Sorry about the double comment, my browser (or maybe my thumb) submitted my comment before I wanted it to…

  • Nicole

    I would love a copy of this book! I have talked with so many people who have been facing deep struggles and don’t feel comfortable sharing them in church settings. I would appreciate learning more about how to speak to these needs.

  • Suellen Maia

    I want a copy of this book cause it seems a good way to know not just how to “speak freely” but also what to speak freely too. As I work with teenagers in church, it could be a good way to know what they need to talk about, what we all need to talk about at church, at home, everywhere.

    I can see some common events in my life and hers – as many other people – it’s good to know that she actually did something and not just waited laying on bed.

    God bless you and God bless Anne.

  • Pingback: Interview with Anne Jackson, Part 2()

  • Mary Kay

    I would appreciate a copy of this book for two reasons
    1. I lead a ministry to domestic violence victims at my church and, not surprisingly, that is a taboo subject. Anything I can learn and share to help these families come out into the open and choose healing instead of isolation and suffering would be a benefit to the entire church.
    2. I have a family member who was hurt by some folks in church leadership – either directly or by abandonment – and would appreciate having this resource to share and hopefully draw them into some awareness that they are not alone and not all church attenders are unsafe, rejecting people or hypocritical. They have begun to trust us, the family, but still believe we are not typical of “church people” and that returning to church is more pain than they can endure right now.
    These reason are not especially creative—but the needs and pain of these folks is quite real, and I would love to be able to use another resource to assist them.
    Whether I receive a book or not, thank you, Michael, for sharing your interviews with Anne Jackson, and your generous gift of books. God bless, Mary Kay

  • Karin

    I would love a copy of Anne’s book. I too, struggle with speaking freely in church. There is a self-proclaimed culture of grace, but that is only surface level, underneath, there is much mis-trust and un-grace if you confess what you really think or believe.

  • Nicole

    I would love to receive a copy of Anne Jackson’s latest book! Beside of Anne being a wonderful author, I think I would really appreciate her own experiences behind those so called taboo subjects. It’s not an issue I ever thought to address, but it’s one more step toward being a truer person.

  • Pamela Hunter

    I’d really like to have a copy of Anne’s book, because Anne has helped me through some very difficult situations. She has shown me that its okay to be who you are, be honest and authentic, to have a past, to stand up for whats right in the church, even if its not the popular thought. I submitted my confession to Anne, and just recently became aware that it is in the book. Right now in light of the situation in Haiti and my own backyard, i cannot justify buying the book and not giving the money to other folks who need it more.

  • Anna

    This book seems really interesting as I am sure so many of us have felt like certain topics are off limits in the church.

  • Jessica

    I knew Anne thru Cross Point when I was in Nashville and I love her writing! Her blog was (since it’s ending) awesome! I would love this book!

  • Mary G

    In the past — no matter the setting, I had found it difficult to speak freely for fear of being judged. It didn’t matter if it was amongst my christian friends and church family or in secular settings. During the past year I have dealt with some painful emotional baggage from 15 or so years ago. During this process, I am slowly learning that I can speak freely … yet need some inspiration to keep me on this path. I think Anne’s book would provide me an opportunity to continue to hone my “speaking freely” skills and would love to read it.

  • Veronica

    ….because I’m a PK (pastor’s kid)…and I’ve got years of stuff stored up that I “can’t” say in church, lol…. But I think God does, too, and that’s why He gifts us with courageous authors like Anne (and by extension, brave publishers like Thomas Nelson), who will whisper to our hearts through the written word the cry of God’s heart: “I love you, & I want to hear it ALL.”

  • nick gill

    My denomination desperately needs exposure to voices like Anne’s – strong and honest women filled with the Spirit of God who stand beside their brothers in Christ in the good fight of faith.

    I would love to read, review, and share this book with as many people as possible.

  • darrell jordan

    I think that churches should be addressing these issues. I want to learn how to and learn how to address these issues in my life also.

  • Leanora Ortiz

    I heard Anne on the Drew Marshall show She was real and spoke to Drew and what he was dealing with the way I would. She said things I wish I could have said. drew is a amazing guy I knew at that moment I wanted to hear more from Anne and read her book

  • Jeff Slater

    I heard about this book a few weeks ago and immediately wanted to read it. I’m a Pastor, so I’m very familiar with the subject and have experienced it firsthand. I have to be very careful! I once shared a struggle I’ve had during a sermon. By the reaction I received, you would have thought I had kicked a puppy in front of the congregation! I know Anne’s words will be a breath of fresh air. I absolutely promise to read it!

  • Robert Cowie

    This book intrests me alot, because I for one am not one of those guys who shun away from taboo topics. Last year while struggling with a sexual addiction, rather coming to terms with it and revealing all to everyone, you can imagine I had questions. It was extreamly difficult to ask honest questions on the subject of masterbation. I didnt get any answers only glaring eyes. Basically I found my answer online. Amongst other people who used the internet to discuss topics that the church would rather pass over. Its unfortunate. I share what I learned with others now, its the way it should be. Im interested to read what others have been afraid to ask and what answers if any they received.

  • Diane Borden

    As of today, I’ve bought 4 copies…1 from Amazon and 3 from our local Bible Superstore. I just keep rotating them around our church (where I happen to serve as a children’s pastor).
    Word’s out…a buzz has been created around the church about this AMAZING book Diane’s loaning…and a wait list has even been started! I’d buy more books, but it’s the end of the year and my little budget is maxed!
    For our staff meetings we are taking turns sharing what we’ve been learning lately. I’m up next and will be using Permission to Speak Freely – reviewing the book but then doing a teaching on the gift of going second…The importance of us as leaders to model this gift from up front and in our personal lives. Doing a bit of a challenge to take an honest look at where we are at as a church and how we might work towards opening our sanctuary up further. I’d love to put a book in every one of our pastors hands! I’ll get my 4 books back that are currently left but I am one short! I need a total of 5! :-) Help a girl pastor out as she teaches her 5 guys in the office! Honesty before OTHERS is what brings revival and a fresh wave of the spirit. That is my desire for our local church! LOVE the book, love the potential it can help bring. Giving us a language to use so we can even begin to have a conversation! Lord Bless!

  • Jamie D

    Anne wrote a new book that’s key
    for those wishing to live lives that are free. (Like me!)
    To speak words without fear of judgement or sneer-
    authentic and real; just to “be.”

    A limerick is real hard to write, but getting this book is in sight!
    Michael, please consider my plea, her words were written for me,
    If I get it, I’ll speak freely with delight!

  • James

    I have known Anne since she was a child (Dare I mention I actually baby sat her)and attended several of the same churches as she did. It would be great to see her point of view of the churches. Anne was an amazing and bright child and has grown to be an outstanding woman.. I would be honored and blessed to receive a copy.

  • Angela Gifford

    Because you didn’t give me an Andy Stanley book? LOL! Just kidding! Seriously, though, I’m a pastor’s daughter that grew up in a traditional church in a conservative denominations and was told what to think, what to believe, how to feel, how to act, how to dress….etc. Would love to hear Anne’s story and insights. Promise to read, and will undoubtedly blog.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    People from the East really stuggle hard to confess the truth even if it is in the church. The cultural background normally does not allow that. Sometimes, many believers live in condemnation within themselves for their lifelong time. ‘Permission to speak freely’ should be a real source of encouragement for anyone who lives with guilt, condemnation within their heart for the fear of confession. This book will assist in releasing many from the mental prison of shame and embarassment.For, there is life and growth in facing and confronting truth; On the other hand, evading or avoiding the same will never take us anywhere.

  • Shane Sanchez

    It would be great to win a copy of this book because i want to see how someone handled the issue. I believe transparency is a key factor to the health of our churches,. I am a pretty straight shooter, so when it comes to church fellowship I tend to be open. I want others to know that they can be open as well and discuss the things that effect them. This would be a great read!

  • Charlie’s Church of Christ

    I want this book because only a true handful of fellow believers know what I actually believe, because, well, I am quite certain I can’t say it in church or around others. I’m hoping for some courage from Anne, because I’ve seen her be bold before.

    I also want it because I think books that are not simply text on white page (ex: Jesus for President) are the future of books in our culture.

  • BeSoChEmPs

    May God continue to bless Anne and uncountable souls who can finally be unshackled! S H A M E = Secrets Hidden Assure Misery Eternal

    This sounds like a book that will bless me, my family, my patients, and my church! Thanks for an opportunity to win a free copy, but I’ll be buying a few copies too.

  • Meg

    I’m a seminary student and any book that I can just enjoy and not write a 15 page paper on is a must nowadays!!!

  • Widsith

    Speaking of taboo topics, the fact that the Church even has taboo topics is in and of itself taboo, and I’ve paid the price for pointing it out too.

    As a pastor’s daughter, now in my 30s, my relationship with the big ‘c’ Church is almost identical to Anne’s. I didn’t turn my back on God, but I did shut Church out of my life for a while.

    Well, I’m back in the ‘fold’ so to speak, because in a moment of clarity about 10 years ago, God showed me that Romans 12:21 could easily be applied to the Church: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Like Anne’s experience, because of the crap I witnessed in church as a PK (pastor’s kid), I’ve now grown to love the Church, which means working out the wrinkles and stains, repairing rips and tears, and basically applying TCL which isn’t always happy but can be healing if done with the right heart.

    That’s what Anne’s doing, what I’m trying to do on my blog, “Hurt by the Church”, and I think many believers are waiting for permission they don’t need in order to do this too. Overcoming evil *in the Church* with good isn’t easy. People fight back, and sometimes they fight hard. I’ve been brought before pastors, relatives, and other matriarchs/patriarchs of my church to be chastised for sharing my concerns. But I expect that because it’s taboo to talk ‘taboo’, right?

    Anne, thanks for blazing a trail for young PKs, and especially for women, who want to heal the Church’s brokenness but lack the courage (or permission) to talk about it. And Michael, thanks for this awesome promotion of Anne’s book. :)

  • Tara

    Hi, I would live a copy of this book. I recently discovers Anne’s (late) blog and found her openness and honesty INCREDIBLY refreshing. I have dealt with some of the same issues she has dealt with and just felt so relieved that someone else was talking about it. I have a strong desire in my heart to be one of the people in MY church who is honest, open, real and humble. Whenever I open up and am just honest, so many people respond and do the same. I think people are hungry for truth and honesty. I would love to read Anne’s book to help me discover more about those things on this journey I’m on. Thank you

  • kevin

    I would definitely read the book. I have become aware of the author of late and admire her courage. There are so many ways in which the church has become dysfunctional and I appreciate Anne’s insights.

  • Brett

    Great…ANOTHER book to add to my reading list.

    As a fairly conservative pastor, I look forward to reading more of Anne’s experience growing up as a PK (preacher’s kid). The last thing I want to do as a pastor is succeed in the pulpit and fail at home. I’m not saying her Dad did that, but I do think growing up as a PK has particular challenges for children and their faith, as evidenced by her testimony.

  • Sarah

    I have been following Anne on her blog, facebook and twitter now for a few months and I think it is because of a new type of church leader like Anne, that I have faith that the Christian church that we know today can change and survive. I grew up in church, not as a preacher’s child, but as a church elder’s child and always struggled with the reality of my imperfect life and the seemingly perfectionist standard set my Christians in churches I attended. I would love to read more about Anne’s journey and then support her as she gracefully emplores Christians to be honest and vulnerable with each other and the world.

  • carolynmejia

    my roll as a “church leader” is to show God’s perfect love to imperfect humans. i find people do hold secrets… especially from church leadership. i need constant reminders in my life that people of all walks of life go through hard stuff and God has entrusted me with this position to be a conduit for his unconditional grace, love and acceptance. i would love a copy of the book…. a long time fan of “post secret”, i have anticipated it for some time now.

  • Angie Weldy

    What’s interesting is that even while Anne was talking about things in her past I was thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe she’s willing and comfortable talking abut those things in public!” I applaud her openness. Can’t wait to watch part 2.

  • Craig Stephans

    As a priest, I was thankful to Anne for writing her book, especially since I have my own daughter that I don’t want to be burdened or “turned-off” by the church. I also want other ministers I know to read this book.

  • Suraj Reddy

    I’ve loved Anne’s unique perspective on issues – she’s just… different from the rest of the world – she helps me think outside the box in terms of what truly matters.

    I’d love a copy of the book because I do think the church can be lacking in this area – being a place for believers to “speak freely”, and I’d love to be part of the change.

  • Amy

    I currently work in a church and have followed Anne on Twitter. I would love to read her book. I just love her heart. The fact that after all she has been through she doesn’t bash the church, that shows the Lord’s mercy, grace and love is at work in her life. It is always the hardest to forgive those that should have known better than to hurt you….the body of Christ.

  • Linda B.

    I love the book! I have a lending library for some of my younger friends who are broke so they can read stuff that will genuinely helpful to them I would love to have another copy for that since no one can pry my copy out of my hands. :)

    I’m more than happy to share the link here for people to see the interview too. Thanks for posting it.

  • Susan Wilkinson

    I would like a copy of Anne’s book primarily to remind me of all the reasons I need to be genuine in my writing. My first book, about overcoming regret (Getting Past Your Past, 2000, Multnomah), had a chapter dedicated to secrets and authenticity and when I was promoting the book that chapter alone was 95% of what the interviewers and callers to radio shows wanted to talk about. I knew it was an important topic when I wrote the book, but it was promoting the book that showed me just how many people are hurting and isolated because they don’t feel safe to be honest and how desperate many are to escape the suffocation of constantly wearing a mask.

    Now, after 10 very difficult, painful, embarrassing, yet instructive and valuable years of life, I am beginning to work on a book again. I am determined to find the authentic, free, grace-filled and unpretentious voice that lives just beneath the surface of my fear and longs to break through. I am literally given courage to see writer’s like Anne and Donald Miller so prominently in the market. I love to read authors who are real, humble and reachable, who walk into my living room and plop on my couch as my friend. I want very much to be that kind of author and think that Anne’s book, along with a few others, will really encourage me in that direction. Thank you for letting me know about it!

  • paladin56

    I am a pastor and was surprised at Annes openess. For several years I have been trying to lead my congregations to accept honesty, to learn to be vulnerable and transparent. As christian’s we must be the most vulnerable, honest, and transparent of all humanity for the very power of the Gospel is revealed through this kind of love. WE are not better than the rest of those around us, we have the same issues because we are the same. The difference is we know we can go to God for help, now we need to know we can go to each other for help as well. That is one message of the Gospel, we have each other!

  • Nancy W.

    I loved hearing Anne speak with such ease about “uncomfortable” issues. If only we as a church could become more at ease with each others’ struggles in being human. Shame is an issue I deal with, and I know others who are similar. I would love to have this book to use with other women in our church who struggle.

  • Rachel Werner

    I would love a copy of Anne’s book! My sister wants to be a writer and found Anne recently and told me I needed to follow her blog. For years I felt unsafe and weird in the church. I had many years of self-doubt, self-hate, and depression, which led to more self-hate. It is a heavy burden to try and appear perfect and sinless without a place or a people that will listen and love without fear of judgment or disgust.

  • jskoepke

    I appreciate Anne’s candid honesty in this interview. Everyday I’m involved with helping build the value of the local church in my students as a Bible college instructor. We often talk about the need to “be real” as Christians about what they’re dealing with in their lives, but also how to build this as a culture in our churches – in a way that is genuine and welcoming to all who come. I would love a copy of this book, the subject being what we’re trying to build into the next generation of leaders, pastors, and those in the arts!

  • Melodee

    I’ve been following Anne’s blog because she is a friend of a friend. I’d love to read her book – also, because I’m a pastor’s wife, raising pastor’s kids.

  • Virginia

    I grew up in a church in which almost every subject was taboo, unless it was “hellfire and damnation”. There are still so many of those subjects that I struggle talking about, I would LOVE to get past this. And that is why I want a copy of this book.
    I posted a link to this post on twitter last night.

  • Ann

    I thought I wanted this book from just reading the blog post. But after I watched the video, I knew I should read it. Besides the fact that one of the “broken places” in particular that Anne mentioned resonated with me, I serve as a RA in a Christian college and have the opportunity to counsel many young ladies. Many of the things Anne mentioned are topics that come to the surface as I talk with the girls. I’m eager to learn, apply, and encourage in others the principle of allowing light in the broken and hidden places of the soul.

  • Tayo Ajobo

    i want a copy of this book because i’m in a stage in life where i’m questioning some issues in church like is the church really a place where christians can be open and be themselves? i found out that the church mostly dont practise what they preach or rather dont preach what they should practise. they claim thr church should be open to all yet they intimidate those they see as “sinners” or “outcast”. the bible talked about wolfs in sheep’s clothing and i belief that really discribes mordern day chuch. Jesus our Lord was refered to as the friend of the sinner, do you think Jesus rode on a high and mighty horse looking down on the sinners snd telling them they would burn in hell? no. the bible says somewhere in Psalm 18 that he stooped so low to lift me up. i belief this was how Jesus did it he accepted them the way they were and concentrated on being their friend first, then teacher and master came in willingly.i wqnt this book because i want to know really is that how things should be done in the church or is it only some sort of spiritual abuse?

  • Jennifer S McColley

    Dear Anne & Michael,
    “In my Middle.”
    That is THE answer.
    (But not just to the question you’re asking.)

  • Jo Ann Fore

    There is an undeniable healing power in telling the truth. What authentic, healing transparency Anne! Daily, I work with soul-wounded, brave-hearted women who are facing tough issues and won’t turn to their pastor for help. Anne speaks directly to these countless women. And I would LOVE to have her book as an additional resource.

  • Helen Lee

    I have always had a problem with speaking freely when it comes to my own life. My friendships are characterized by my being a great listener and asking probing questions about other people’s lives, but cleverly dissuading the reverse. It’s sadly become my lifelong pride struggle, this idea that “no one really knows me except Jesus.” I am eager to read Anne’s book and learn about how she embraced this idea of speaking freely about her innermost issues. It’s the kind of freedom that Christians should feel with one another, but so often we feel the opposite: “what would my friends think if they REALLY knew me?” If Anne’s book can start to break down those carefully-erected walls we place around us, then I hope it sells like gangbusters, and I hope I will be one of those who can gladly report of its impact in the years to come.

  • Pingback: Last minute contest: Winners chosen today! « Hurt by the Church?()

  • Catherine

    So sorry that I missed this! I would have loved to have received a copy of this book. I am a survivor of abuse that took place within the walls of a faith community. Through facebook and twitter I discovered that there were many other survivors with similar stories. I now lead a support group for women who have struggled with the issues that surround abuse and faith. I am soundsblue on twitter and Facebook.

  • Weesie

    As soon as I can afford or find the book, I will try to get it – why because I need to express myself.  Actually I need to remember the things I need to express as I hardly remember my childhood.

  • Pingback: Last minute contest: Winners chosen today! | In Truth & Love()

  • Viji Roberts

    I am working on a talk I need to give in November at a Teen’s Camp on pornography. I believe it is this irrational expectation among us though saved by grace but now expected to a picture perfect Christian that keeps such topics taboo.

    Darning is a word we hardly use now, however, I remember my mom ‘darning’ up the holes in my socks in a way that no one knew. Well we may not use the word but have continued the practice — we are well darned Christians refusing to admit our holes. Holy Christians with holes that only grace can erase. This book will be an eye opener to these youngsters and a 2 Tim 2:2 opportunity for me.