Author Leonard Lucas, Jr. invites his readers to attend the “School of the Holy Spirit” as it deals with the problem of pain in the lives of Christian believers, particularly the severe pain encountered in the pursuit of Christian ministry and leadership.
Lucas draws on biblical accounts and his firsthand experiences as a Bible college student and then later as a pastor, apostle, and Christian leader to explain the various ways pain comes to us, yet works in us to grow us spiritually. “Pain is not an enemy, but a process to get you to where life is taking you,” he says. It works to “perfect those who have been selected to become great leaders. The greater the pain, the greater the leadership roles in our lives.”
The narrative examines different sorts of pain, such as the pain that comes from ostracism, jealousy, devaluation, sorrow, disappointment, grief, and family, to name a few. The main, repeating message throughout the book is that each of us is unique in God’s eyes and not meant to fit into boxes created by others. Therefore, when we follow the path God has set before us, we should expect hardship and suffering (pain) from the pushback we receive, and we should persevere anyway.
Although the book has a worthy premise, its execution has some drawbacks. The author’s personal stories, written in a conversational style, sometimes repeat information and often ramble. Additionally, the message of perseverance delivered in most chapters soon begins to feel repetitive. Finally, the text is greatly hampered by improper capitalization, grammar and spelling errors, excessive use of exclamation marks, sudden shifts from present to past tense and run-on sentences.
Such issues impact reading enjoyment. Nonetheless, those considering entering the ministry or working in Christian leadership in some capacity may appreciate the author sharing his experiences and feel encouraged in their personal struggles.
Also available in ebook format.