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Summer 2006 , Vol. 3, No. 1

Book Review

Wayde Goodall, Why Great Men Fall
(Green Forrest, Ark: New Leaf Press, 2005). 160 pages.

Reviewed by Tim Baum,
Coordinator of Information Technology, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

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In an age where focus is everything, we would do well to pick up Wayde Goodall’s book, Why Great Men Fall. Goodall has been a leader of leaders for over twenty years. A former missionary to Vienna, Austria, he started the Vienna Christian Center, one of the largest evangelical churches in Europe. Presently, he leads a congregation of several thousands in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He holds several degrees, including a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. With these credentials, Goodall has seen enough to know what it takes for ministers to stay the course. The purpose of the writing of this book is in the subtitle:   “15 winning strategies to rise above it all.” While its truths are valuable to all people, this book is focused on men.

When one thinks of the term falling , the mind may wander to Jude 24: “ Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (KJV). We have all seen the headlines of “big names” that have done wrong and been caught. The tabloid gossip that followed caused the body of Christ harm. The above scripture is the theme of the last chapter, which I believe is the most important.

Chapter 1, “Why Great Men Fall” contains an layout of the book, citing the pitfalls leaders must avoid. Goodall identifies fourteen issues that lead to failure and provides strategies for overcoming them. Each of the fourteen issues serves as a chapter in the development of the book ( Entitlement, Entrepreneurs without Balance; Compartmentalization; Expectation of Silence; The Sex Issue; Integrity; Anger; Accountability–Egos in Check; Conscience—Compromise; Mentors and Coaches; Ethics; Stress and Pressure; Money; Depression and Moods; and The One Who Can Keep You from Falling).

I want to highlight chapters 9 (Accountability–Egos in Check) and 11 (Mentors and Coaches) as they strike a cord in me. Goodall gets into the male ego as he points out the often unknown or ignored need we have for other people’s input. To me, these two chapters create the environment in which all the other strategies work.

The book is practical, having direct application to our lives. Biblically, I do not see any argument against the author’s wisdom. Theologically, it may appear simple, but the principles highlighted in the book, when practiced, will be a safeguard for any man of God. Goodall has many practical stories that we can use as examples of what not to do and also what to do, citing some of the big names that have lost it all for a fleshly action. These strategies are a must for us if we are to remain pure, or become pure, as we decide to lead a nation or a community to Christ.

As to its contemporary church or ministry setting, I appreciate Goodall’s focus on the corporate world and the church, as both are very important. Therefore, for leaders from CEO to pastor, this book shares relevant truth. I recommend it to all men with the hope of our being spared the pain of failure and the shame this failure brings to the cause of Christ.

Updated: Friday, July 14, 2006 2:41 PM