The Winding Path of Transformation
Most books on church leadership today emphasize techniques for growth, success, and brand-building. But Jeff Tacklind, pastor of Church by the Sea—a quirky, diverse congregation in Laguna Beach, California—knows from decades of ministry experience that sometimes effective leadership looks like standing in the middle of conflict, holding the tension.
In The Winding Path of Transformation, Tacklind describes spiritual transformation as an invitation to paradox. By entering into suffering, he says, we find joy. By embracing the downward path of humility, we find glory. And by remaining small, sometimes we grow to great heights.
Any leaders who have wondered if God really called them to lead a congregation will resonate with Tacklind's vulnerability in this honest and meditative account. So will readers who have found their own spiritual journey to be winding and halting rather than a constant ascent of growth. Tacklind draws from the natural world—trees, waves, mountains, and canyons—to bring to life the lessons that he has picked up along the way. C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Søren Kierkegaard and others all serve as guides who light the way on the winding path of following God.
"Jeff Tacklind is a surprising and winsome voice with a wide reach. He writes with the vulnerability of someone who just wants to be a little more like Jesus. But behind his easygoing tone you'll find the riches of a seasoned spiritual director and pastor."
"The Winding Path of Transformation is so unique, so vulnerable, so reflective that it is hard to find words to do it justice. Written like a novel and drawing from sources as different as Kierkegaard and Cyndi Lauper, Tacklind's work is, at once, deeply personal and also an insightful, helpful depiction of the shared contours of every person's pilgrimage. Deep, authentic, wise, and hopeful, The Winding Path of Transformation is a rich guide for all who hunger for a more deeply transformed life."
"Very few authors could summon the courage to write this book. But be warned: it takes almost as much courage to read this book as it took to write it. If you go down this yellow-winding road with the author, you will move around the entire color wheel of emotions. You will gasp at its honesty; you will squirm and wince and feel uncomfortable at its vulnerability; you will shake your head in marvel and wonderment at its revelations; you will cry. But the promise of the title is real—your own journey will be transformed."
"As a young Christian, I imagined what it would look like to mature in my faith. Looking back now, I realize the path was far more winding than I could have anticipated. I appreciate Jeff's life-tested and pastorally wise counsel in The Winding Path of Transformation. It's a wonderful guide along the path of growth."
"I love this quiet, deeply honest book; it indeed has left me—as the author hopes will be the case for his readers—with a renewed appetite for transformation and freedom and an awareness of God's presence, 'Always already.'"
"Oh, how I have wished that transformation could come through reading a book. Jeff addresses this fallacy head-on. Transformation comes through opening up the fodder of our lives to the slow work of God. Period. Jeff gently coaxes us to stand in the places of engagement, where we live deeply out of our own skin, away from the shallow shoulds and into the sacred invitation imprinted on our souls. I am grateful to have such a holy and humble traveling companion in this beautiful book."
Foreword by Cathleen Falsani
Part One: Glory and Humility
1. At Home in the Middle Place
2. Growing Deep Roots
3. Enlarge My Heart
4. Discovering Our True Vocation
Part Two: Necessary Seasons
5. The Importance of Desolation
6. The Illumination of Waiting
7. The Desire to Belong
8. Living with Questions
Part Three: The Slow Opening
9. Learning to Be Me
10. The Significance of Small Prayers
11. Trusting God in the Brokenness
12. The Slow Work of the Cross
Part Four: The Way of the River
13. Living in Joy and Grief
14. The Tension of Glory and Humility
15. The Wisdom of the River
16. Leaving and Returning
17. Discovering Joy