hope for churches in stress

David and Goliath

With a captivating profusion of powerful stories, Malcolm Gladwell in David and Goliath confronts the biggest bugaboo of small church pastors—an already-defeated mindset.

Are underdogs doomed to defeat? Are overwhelming odds always insurmountable? Are outsiders and outliers necessarily at a disadvantage? Are setbacks and rejection disqualifying? Gladwell answers all of these questions with a resounding, “No!”

A brave shepherd can defeat a towering (but lumbering) giant by an unconventional tactic, a stone fired (from a distance) at 150 miles per hour.

The fact of being an underdog, with all the attendant liabilities, can change people, create opportunities, and make the unthinkable possible. Overwhelming odds, Gladwell contends, can produce greatness and beauty.

To capitalize on outsize challenges, we cannot stumble over assumptions. A fixed mindset about apparent disadvantages matters. We can be demoralized and immobilized by adversity. Or we can treat hardships as “desirable difficulties” that force us to learn compensating skills, create a new ministry niche, try unconventional strategies, and persevere with strength of purpose.

David and Goliath can help us to reset our minds for fruitful ministry.

This book is a fresh take on longstanding truth: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4, ESV; also see Romans 12:2 and 1 Peter 4:12-14)

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