Didn't See It Coming Book Summary - Didn't See It Coming Book explained in key points
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Didn't See It Coming summary

Carey Nieuwhof

Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences

4.2 (80 ratings)
23 mins

What is Didn't See It Coming about?

Didn’t See It Coming (2018) offers guidance on how to overcome seven important challenges that you will inevitably face in life. Drawing on Pastor Carey Nieuwhof’s own personal struggles and victories, these blinks show how faith and foresight can help you work through the challenges of work, family, and friendships. 

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    Didn't See It Coming
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    Key idea 1 of 7

    You don’t become cynical because you don’t care, but because you do. 

    The author Pastor Carey Nieuwhof is, in a word, an idealist. This might not surprise you: after all, to become so popular in the Christian community, it helps to see the best in the world. But that hasn’t always been the case. Early in his career as a pastor, the author encountered the first of our seven great challenges in life: cynicism. He had to work through it to become the jovial optimist he is today.

    When he first became a minister, Carey found work in a rural community in Ontario. He preached at three churches, the largest of which had an average attendance of 23 people. He wanted to grow his congregation, so he made sure the people who did show up felt special and well looked after. 

    Carey cared about everyone who came to his church. But this caring broke his heart.

    The key message here is: You don’t become cynical because you don’t care, but because you do. 

    When Roger and Mary first showed up to Carey’s church, he could tell they needed special help. They were emotionally needy and destitute and sometimes couldn’t get to church because their car frequently broke down. Carey made sure they had gas money and drove across town whenever they needed spiritual or emotional guidance. 

    One day, Roger announced that they would stop coming to his church. The reason? Carey hadn’t done enough for them.

    Roger’s accusation shook Carey deeply. In the weeks that followed, he noticed that he had stopped caring and trusting people. 

    He knew he couldn’t continue like this. But what should he do? 

    Carey remembered that God sent Jesus to counter inevitable human cynicism. Jesus confronted despair and made sure it wouldn’t win. Carey realized that as long as Jesus was in his life, he didn’t need to fear that his past would become his future. 

    Letting Jesus into your life takes years. Luckily, we can take concrete actions right now to counter encroaching cynicism. First, schedule unstructured time for thinking and wondering. Staying open to possibilities that are new and different to scenarios you’ve already experienced can lead to unexpected joy. Second, ask open-ended questions, like “why?” and “why not?” and listen – really listen – to what people have to say. They might surprise you.

    But the most important thing of all? Remaining curious. Curious people are never cynical, and cynical people are never curious.

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    About the Author

    Just after passing the bar exam, Carey Nieuwhof left a budding law career to go to a seminary. From there, he went on to found one of the most influential churches in North America, the Connexus Church in Barrie, Ontario. He is the author of several books and the host of a popular podcast on leadership. Didn’t See It Coming has spent months at number one on Amazon’s Christian Leadership best-seller list. 

    Who should read Didn't See It Coming?

    • Christians who feels stuck without a clear path forward
    • People contemplating a career change
    • Those curious about the relevance of Christianity to our modern times

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