“The Eric Trap” Book Review

I am very pleased to be able to talk about The Eric Trap, a new book written by Jim Wideman, Sam Luce, Kenny Conley, and several others.  I received a copy a week or so ago and immediately began diving into it.  I have to say, I was blown away by it.

Here are the things I LOVED about The Eric Trap:

1)  It is written as a leadership fable. If you are not familiar with this style of writing (a la Patrick Lencioni, Ken Blanchard, and others), it is told as a fictional story of Eric Newman.  Eric is a regular guy who finds himself reeling from the demands and expectations of Kids Ministry.  It’s easy to read.  You learn as Eric learns.

2)  The main character is easy to relate to.  Eric is you.  Eric is me.  Eric is the Kidmin Leader we all have been at some point in our journey.  I felt a connection to Eric within the first couple of paragraphs.  I found myself truly caring about Eric and the pain he was going through.  That is what good writing does.  This book is well-written and compelling.

3)  The lessons are impacting.  The book deals with “five things every leader has to get right.”  Each of these lessons are learned by Eric along the way.  From learning how to balance ministry and family to serving under a Lead Pastor and carrying his/her vision, these lessons ARE things that every Kidmin Leader must get right if they want to accomplish God’s best in their ministry.

The only thing I wish was different with the book is that it is not COMPLETELY a leadership fable.  Periodically, the story of Eric is broken up with select lessons from successful Kidmin Leaders.  Don’t get me wrong – these lessons are phenomenally written and are very helpful.  I just wish the content could have been worked more into the story rather than having to continually pop out of the story in order to do practical teaching.

Bottom line – The Eric Trap is a well-written book that will appeal to much more than just Kidmin Leaders.  It serves as a guidebook for every new staff pastor getting into ministry.  Male or female.  Long-term or short-term.  Kids Ministry or Student Ministry.  Everyone can learn from Eric Newman and help themselves NEVER to fall into the “Eric Traps.”

* The official release date of the book is APRIL 25th.  For more info check out the official website.

31 thoughts on ““The Eric Trap” Book Review

  1. Thank you for this review! As a children’s pastor who is now training kidmin leaders in South Africa, I am always looking for resources that are easy to read and could potentially translate well cross-culturally. I look forward to cheking it out and making my own assessment of how it could possibly help some of the leaders and volunteers here in SA. Thanks for taking the time to talk about it.

  2. Your review intrigued me. I would really like to read this book. As a children’s pastor, I am always searching for ways to develop the ministry learning from successful leaders who have already gone through much of what I am/will be going through. Thank you for sharing this review. I would be honored to receive this book.

  3. I have read the book I blew it and loved it! That book started me on several books about children’s ministry and leadership. Learning that this book is a good guidebook for ministryakese want to read it and continue my journey of learning. Thanks for the post!

  4. After reading a few reviews on this book I really am anxious to read this. Every review i ahve seen has mentioned the ability to relate to more than kids minsitry leaders. I hope it goes for sale on Kindle!

  5. I just finished Stretch by Jim Wideman and plan to start “I blew it” today. I am looking forward to reading the “Eric Trap”. I am a part-time Children’s Pastor @24church and Budget Anaylst in the TN National Guard, balancing two jobs and family can be a challenge

  6. I am excited to read this book. Thanks for the preview into it. I can trust your endorsement and am sure it’s a great read considering the authors. I am always looking for ways to grow in leadership. It’s so cool that there are so many kidmin resources now as compared to when I started out 25 yrs ago. Thanks Pastor Brian!!

  7. My husband and I both are excited about this book. We have been in Children’s Ministry for over 30 years and as the time goes by we love it even more. Always looking for fresh manna to help us equip the ones that co-labor with us. Team work is so important in ministry, not about us, always about him! This book review is awesome, can’t wait to put our hands on a copy. These Great Ministers of the Word always hit it on the head at the right time. As you know we can’t live on last years stuff, we need new creative ways to keep pressing toward the mark and to stay focus on the plan God has!

  8. I am looking forward to reading this book to help me keep a balance between family an ministry. I stepped down from being on staff just over eight years ago in order to keep my #1 ministry (My family) from falling apart. Although I never really left the ministry, after eight years of working as a volunteer in KIDSMIN, I recently accepted an offer from my church to be the Children’s Pastor and I want to find a way to balance family and ministry so neither has top suffer again.

  9. Pingback: The Eric Trap Blog Tour: Day 5 | Childrens Ministry Online

  10. I am a children pastor looking to get better with church politics and as an administrator.I believe this book would be perfect for me.

  11. I am new when it comes to the #KidMin world in regards to leadership. I have had this on my read list for awhile now. I was just waiting for it to come out! I would love to win a copy!

  12. Okay you got me at the part where you said “Eric is you, Eric is me.” I love stories that you can identify with especially within a few pages. This sounds like my kind of book.

  13. Not looking to read another slow-moving textbook. “The Eric Trap” sounds right up my alley! A good read while enhancing my ministry and life is exactly what I am looking for. Thanks for the review of the book!

  14. I am so excited about this book! I am struggling with the balance between wife, mom, children’s director and everything else that is expected/needed of me. The reviews of this book have been outstanding. The authors are amazing mentors that are always influencing others in a Godly way. This review is great!

  15. Everyone is talking about it! With names like Bro. Jim, Sam Luce and Kenny Conley it has to be good! I am looking forward to reading a new leadership book. this one sounds like it is different and appealing. Brian, I liked your review because you explained how the book was written to and how it appeals to ministry leaders (kids/students). After reading your book, if you highly recommend it then it must be a MUST read!

  16. I immediately love the title. It has a very nice and familiar ring to it.
    I’ll admit, your review has intrigued me. I’d like to read this book and learn leadership from a fictional narrative, which honestly, I find easier to read than, “how-to” books.

  17. Not sure if my last comment went through or not, but I’ll post again.
    The name of the book has a nice ring to it. Something about it feels very familiar.
    I am intrigued by your review. Not too much detail given, but I do think that I like it being short and to the point instead of a 90 page play by play.
    I will end up reading this one way or another. I have always had trouble reading “how-to” books because I either take things to literally, or don’t follow it enough. So something like this where I can pull lessons from seems like a really good idea. #riskuslogic

  18. I have read some of the Lencioni books and learned from them while reading an “easy read book” Right now I am reading The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner and it is not an easy read. I would love to be able to read an easy read book that I can get some top quality principles out of. I am just starting out in vocational ministry and am learning as much as I can I would love to read this book to learn.

  19. Ok, so after seeing about 500 tweets on this book I finally read a review!! LOL Thanks!!! Sounds awesome, and like a book that can be easily read and then applied….even if I don’t win a copy, I know I will get it!

  20. “I found myself truly caring about Eric and the pain he was going through.  That is what good writing does.  This book is well-written and compelling.” I am a Kid Min director and I want to/need to learn how to be a better leader, much left to learn… I am a lover of compelling writing that sucks me into a storyline I cannot pull away from! If this book is educational and compelling at the same time, I want one!

  21. My first thought, is it available for my Nook? I have vision problems.
    But the concept is great especially if you have people in leadership roles that are not open to ideas that may correct a problem. However, reading it in story form, they will gladly explain how Eric’s problem is similar to ours. If we applied Eric’s solution to our situation, it may work. Problem solved and no feelings are hurt or relationships damaged.
    That after all is leadership, being able to deal with all types of people with fairness and grace so no relationships or feelings are hurt and work can be completed. In this case it’s the greatest work of all, God’s.

  22. we are a growing kids ministry with big dreams. so I feel like this book would offer some great instruction in our journet to greatness all for his Glory

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