by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Zondervan Publishing
Grand Rapids, Michigan
2001 US $19.99

Reviewed by Benjamin C. Maxson, Director General Conference Stewardship Ministries

This book is a must read for every individual working with people or seeking to grow personally. Cloud and Townsend present, “All personal growth is spiritual growth” as their foundational principle. The book is theologically sound and psycho-logically professional. Among other works, Cloud and Townsend have written a series of books on “Boundaries,” but this volume shares their undergirding philosophy. It is the result of their own personal and professional journey—discovering biblical principles and their application in working with people.

The authors begin with a clear theology of man and sin and move into a biblical understanding of God and grace. They make it clear that growth can only come in the context of a life surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ. They also explore the reality of God and what He offers to the one seeking to grow, as well as the role and power of faith in this growth process.

Key principles and processes that effect growth in the lives of people are examined. Each chapter concludes with “Tips for Growers,” and “Tips for Facilitators,” and these tips summarize the main points of each chapter. The book is well-organized and well-illustrated, with countless personal experiences from the lives of the authors as well as people with whom they have worked.

This work should not only be read, but should be digested, and the principles integrated into how we grow and how we do ministry.