Book Review: The Eric Trap

13 Apr

Book Review: The Eric Trap

It’s been a while since I read a book as quickly as I read The Eric Trap.  But, here’s the thing, I care about Eric Newman.  Having not read the book, you might be wondering who Eric Newman is and why I care about him.  The Eric Trap, a book written as a collaborative effort by Jim Wideman, Sam Luce & Kenny Conley, is told as a fable of sorts that walks the reader through a week in the life of Eric Newman, Children’s Pastor at New Hope Community Church.  Eric is your typical kids’ pastor and is a character I could quickly relate to.  As Eric faces the typical challenges those of us in ministry face each week (disgruntled volunteers, painful meetings, time away from our family, etc), it’s easy to see a little bit of ourselves in his thoughts and reactions.  Which leads me to the things I dig.

Things I dig

Not only is The Eric Trap a fable about a guy you learn to relate to, but it offers advice throughout for how those of us in children’s ministry can avoid the mistakes and situations that seem to drag Eric down.  I love a good story, but I’m also someone who really appreciates tangible next steps – The Eric Trap is able to pull off both, which I wasn’t expecting and was pleasantly surprised to discover.  The writing style of the book makes this an easy read and something I could pass off to a friend or intern without feeling like I’m asking them to read an encyclopedia.  Before I pass it off to them, however, I’m handing it over to my wife – with permission to call me out on areas where I’m falling into the Eric Trap.  I’d encourage others in ministry to do the same.

Things that Dribbled

My one concern about this book is how a female reader will relate to the narrative.  In children’s ministry, I recognize that most people who hold my position are women – and most people who should read this book are those who are in children’s ministry.  Having said that, I think that every lesson learned is one that applies to both men and women.  My concern, though, is whether or not a female reader will relate to Eric in the same way that I do.

Wrapping Up

I now have another book that will serve as mandatory reading for my staff and for those who volunteer on our team and may one day be called to professional ministry.  This book is the best of it’s kind.  I appreciate that it was developed by those who are serving in real-life, full time ministry.  The stories within it are relatable because they happen every week in the lives of those who serve in children’s ministry.  If you have a chance to get your hands on a copy, or you’re looking for a book to add to your wish list, this is a book worth asking for.


Want to get your hands on a copy for free?

For reviewing this book, I’ve been given a copy that I can give away to a lucky reader of this blog!  All you have to do is comment on this post (by next Wednesday, 4/18) and tell me your favorite book on leadership and/or children’s ministry.  I’m always looking to expand my library – and so should you!  I’ll then randomly choose one commenter below who will receive a FREE copy of The Eric Trap.


Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Book Review, Kidmin, Resources


Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “Book Review: The Eric Trap

  1. Ron Brooks

    April 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I would suggest ‘The Circle Maker’ by Mark Batterson if you haven’t read it yet. Not specific to leadership or kidmin, but specific to a view on prayer. It caused me to look at the way that I prayed and challenged me to become more specific when I pray, because I sometimes pray ‘general’ kinds of prayers.


  2. Kate Radford

    April 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I would recommend On Being a Servant of God by Warren Wiersbe. We are going through it as a staff. Easy read chapters and it covers all age ranges as well as leadership information. Good read especially when done as a group.


  3. Robin Abegg

    April 13, 2012 at 9:51 am

    This sounds like a very intriguing book! I’m not sure if I have a favorite leadership book, but “I Blew It” was an eye opener and challenged me to minister differently and serve, mentor and lead better!


  4. Andrea Kier

    April 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Great review! I’m eager to read The Eric Trap. Being fairily new in ministry, and big changes in my ministry life just around the corner I feel as though I could greatly benefit from knowing the sings of ‘the Eric Trap’. Right now I’m in the middle of The Emotionally Healthy Church by Peter Scazzero. It’s on general Christian Leadership and is so very good. I also just finished The Noticer by Andy Andrews – not overtly Christian or Leadership, but some great truths about difficult communication! Thanks for sharing Anthony!! 🙂


    • Ron Brooks

      April 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      I finished Emotionally Healthy Spirituality recently. It dealt specifically with the balance between emotional and spiritual health especially from the perspective of a church leader. It was a little hard to get through but had a lot of truth regarding balance.


  5. Jesse Smith (@jessemax)

    April 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I read a variety if leadership books each year, so I’m always ready for a suggestion and I’m looking forward to reading the Eric Trap….which somehow slipped below my blogging radar.
    So far this year, my suggestion would be “How to kill 11 million people”. While it is not exactly a leadership book, it does have some really pointed things to say about leaders and certainly addresses the I sue o f character.



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