The Uzziah Syndrome: Forty Keys to Finishing Your Life and Ministry Well, by Daniel Klender. Westbow Press, 2017. 651.pp.
It is always a privilege and a real delight to read and review the publication of one of my former students. After graduating from Western Seminary, Daniel Klender served as a pastor in New Mexico and the state of Washington for 14 years. He went on to complete his D.Min. degree from Phoenix Seminary in 1999. Daniel currently serves as a Navy chaplain at Camp Pendleton, California. His deployments have taken him to Iraq, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Daniel’s book, The Uzziah Syndrome, was written in response to a contemporary leadership crisis. According to his research, within thirty years of beginning their ministries, 80 percent of pastors and other Christian leaders will no longer be involved in active ministry. They will have been hit by the Enemy and neutralized in terms of their spiritual effectiveness.
As a Navy chaplain, Daniel is concerned about “preventable death” among his men. This includes deaths that are related to alcohol, motor vehicle accidents, suicide and training errors. His book is written with a similar goal in mind. Daniel writes to help those in the ministry avoid being surprised and consequently set aside by preventable spiritual failure. The book is really a call to personal vigilance with a view to “fighting the good fight” (1 Tim. 6:12) and finishing well.
The forty “keys” to finishing well are concisely stated, biblically grounded, and memorably illustrated. They include such keys as “Champion integrity,” “Major in soul management,” “Embrace self-forgiveness,” “Champion servant-leadership,” “Traffic in truth,” “Live Courageously,” “Declare your dependence on God,” and “Embrace the upside of discipline.”
The Uzziah Syndrome is absolutely packed with memorable illustrations of the principles being presented. Daniel draws heavily from contemporary culture as well as the books he as read to make The Uzziah Syndrome interesting and engaging. But the book is not all stories and fluff. Daniel includes powerful biblical exegesis and exposition to ensure that the “keys to finishing well” are grounded in God’s eternal truth.
The book is easy reading. I enjoyed a chapter each evening for a little over a month. The message of the book challenged me personally to stay on the high road and steer clear of little compromises that could lead to a major spiritual derailment. The Uzziah Syndrome is available from Amazon books for as low as $30.29. I recommend the Kindle edition for just $3.99.
About J. Carl Laney
J. Carl Laney teaches Biblical Literature at Western Seminary and is an instructor for Western's Israel Study Program. Carl has authored numerous books, including most recently, “Loving Your Enemy: A Biblical Alternative to Revenge” (Ministry: International Journal for Pastors, July 2011).