People—frustrating, confusing, disappointing, complicated—are the most difficult part of leadership. They challenge leaders everywhere, from leaders of many to managers of a few. In this book, Chuck DeGroat addresses the flawed nature of people and offers wisdom for leaders of all types in dealing with anyone who is difficult to lead and to love.
Toughest People to Love explores the basics of how people “tick,” encouraging leaders to examine and take care of themselves so that they can better understand and care for others. Based on DeGroat’s wealth of experience as a pastor, professor, and therapist, this book—both wise and practical—is one that countless leaders will go back to time and again for valuable insights and renewed vision.
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Chuck DeGroat combines thoughtful reflection with psychological learning and spiritual vision. This book will give wise guidance to anybody who is called to lead.
—John Ortbert, author, Who Is This Man? and The Me I Want to Be
Sometimes one discovers a book so helpful and profound that it never collects dust on one’s bookshelf. Toughest People to Love is that kind of book, and I will refer to it often. Here you will find accurate, insightful diagnosis and practical, biblical remedy. As a difficult person who deals often with difficult people, I find this to be a wonderful and life-changing book. Read it and be glad!
—Steve Brown, author, Three Free Sins: God Isn’t Mad at You
Toughest People to Love is overflowing with wisdom and compassion. This is a book that I need personally, that I will assign in my seminary courses, and that will be an important resource as I develop leaders for the diocese in which I serve. . . . It is part self-awareness guide, part handbook on soul care, part leadership treatise, and part consultation on dealing with difficult people in the church.
—Justin S. Holcomb, adjunct professor of theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
This brilliant book is a road map through the morass of convoluted relationships we all face in our families, neighborhoods, work, and ministries. . . . I wish I’d had this indispensable resource—a life-giving well—much earlier in my life. I will return often to it.
—Dan B. Allender, author, The Wounded Heart and Leading with a Limp
Toughest People to Love will make you a better leader, pastor, parent, and friend. But more than anything else, this book will guide you down a path of personal renewal and give you a new trajectory in your own journey to wholeness and integration. This is a book to read again and again as we seek to love the beautiful and broken people in our lives, including the person we see when we look in the mirror.
—Fred Harrell, senior pastor, City Church of San Francisco
This wise and winsome book on leadership takes us on a journey into the challenges and complexities of difficult relationships—with others and with ourselves. Reflecting the Christian wisdom that suffering can lead to human flourishing, DeGroat points us to the rest beyond bodily rest found paradoxically in the solitude and the deepening community with others that together center us in God.
—Eric Johnson, director, Society for Christian Psychology
Chuck DeGroat clearly understands the realities of pastoral ministry. This book is both theologically robust and practical and therefore takes a well-rounded approach to human formation. It will substantially help those who want to understand what Christian leadership, counseling, and friendship really mean.
—Tyler Johnson, lead pastor, Redemption Gateway Church, Mesa, AZ
Chuck DeGroat is associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan. He is former teaching pastor of City Church, San Francisco and executive director of City Church’s counseling center.