The power of vulnerable leadership.

Healing our faith communities starts at the top.

Hi friend,

What an eventful weekend! I pray yours was lovely, too.

In case you missed it, Hiding in the Pews is officially available for pre-order (just click here).

And THANK YOU to those of you who have already pre-ordered, making Hiding in the Pews #1 in the Christian Pastoral Counseling category on Amazon for the past several days. I’m so grateful!

On top of that? Even MORE big news: The Faith + Mental Health app is here!

It’s available now in the App Store for iPhones, and should be available in the Google Play (Android) store any time. I’m so proud of this truly helpful new resource.

Click here to learn more and download the app today!

Now, can we talk about the power of vulnerable leadership?

Hiding in the Pews releases 11 weeks from today. The book happens to have 11 chapters. So, each Tuesday for the next 11 weeks, I’ll be sharing a brief snippet from the book with you.

Each chapter covers a topic or theme about mental illness and the church, including a practical application section to help guide leaders on a journey of transforming their church culture.


Because this kind of total overhaul begins from the inside out, from the top down, and sometimes those of us on the top and on the inside need help taking the first steps toward that overhaul.

From the Foreword by Rev. Robert W. Lee:

Frankly, too many times those with mental illness within the church are forced to explain away their pain, their hopes, their sadness, and even their joy. More dangerously, some people will even have to reckon with their church communities, where others are demanding their illness be prayed away or chased out as if they need an exorcism. Let me be clear: the heart of God is far bigger than that.

From Chapter One:

What pastors preach from the pulpit—or, more tellingly, what they keep deafeningly silent about—has a profound impact on the most at-risk among us. And not only pastors bear this responsibility; we all do.

We Christians have created a church leadership culture more concerned with the external demands of running an organization than the work of Grace in our internal lives—and that trickles down to the congregants.

I hurt for those who are sitting in the pews or standing behind the pulpit, baptized as teenagers or sprinkled as infants, and are now barely holding on. I am crushed for the Christians seeking sanctuary on Sunday morning, who instead find one more set of obligations they must meet.

There are so many of us who need a holy place to come, lay down our burdens, and simply rest. But so often, resting in church isn’t that simple.

This world weighs heavily on us all, mentally ill or not, and we are in dire need of rest. The church is called to echo the heart of Jesus to those who have been desperately trying to win the love of God, to earn their salvation, and to gain the approval of church leaders.

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling for the church to demonstrate grace.

Pre-Order Hiding in the Pews today.

Check out this Pre-Order Swag Pack ($137 value) you’ll receive for free, just for pre-ordering the book…

Click here to pre-order Hiding in the Pews today.

Pre-Order Now

I’m grateful for your support,

Steve Austin

P.S. When/where/how have you witnessed courageous vulnerability lately? Reply and let me know.