About the Author
He became president of his church youth group. He ministered in a nearby nursing home. He memorized Scripture. He had perfect attendance in Sunday School. He worked hard at being "the best, most positive person I could be."
But no matter how much he achieved, inwardly he couldn't shake the sense that God was disappointed in him. By his early 20's, his misdirected desire to please people led him to a full-blown addiction to drugs and alcohol, which resulted in physical, social, and spiritual burnout.
But after facing his deep-down sense of defectiveness, which he now identifies as a sense of shame, he came to realize that there is a significant difference between shame and guilt.
Defining shame as "the belief or mindset that something is wrong with you," VanVonderen has written Tired of Trying to Measure Up out of the depth of his own experience in breaking free from the demands, expectations, and intimidations of well-meaning people. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, co-authored with David Johnson, is written to show how to recognize and escape spiritual manipulation and false spiritual authority within the church. Jeff has also written Good News for the Chemically Dependant (and Those Who Love Them). His book, Families Where Grace Is in Place, shows how to build a graceful marriage and family without legalism or manipulation.
Jeff VanVonderen, who is pastor of counseling at Church of the Open Door in a northwestern suburb of Minneapolis, has earned the M.Div. degree from Bethel Theological Seminary, and is a licensed chemical dependency counselor. He has served on the staffs of several churches and was founder and director of Passages Counseling Center.
Jeff, his wife Holly, and their four daughters make their home in Minnesota.size : 5.3 x 8.2