Press Mentions & Reviews

Below, you can find press mentions and reviews from across the web. If you review any of my books, and would like your review to appear here, please feel free to drop me a note

  • Publishers Weekly

    “First-time author Cunningham is a 20-something who feels ambivalent about and alienated from the church. In 14 letters, she vents her frustrations, telling the church why she is dissatisfied and letting other disgruntled Gen-X and Gen-Y readers know they are not alone.  …The book is not wholly devoted to complaining; Cunningham also highlights the aspects of church life that give her hope. She loves the resiliency and flexibility of the church. And she loves Jesus, who was simultaneously anti-institutional and deeply committed to the church.” 

  • Christianity Today

    “She encourages 20-somethings to have a little more grace and patience with the failures of the church and ends her book with a love letter to the church.” – Katie Galli 

  • Relevant Magazine

    “Plenty of voices…express disillusionment…Sarah Cunningham’s letters to the church show her journey THROUGH disillusionment. It’s a refreshing perspective.”    

  • Catalyst

    “I’m a fan of Sarah Cunningham. For many reasons. And I’m a fan of her latest book, Picking Dandelions. You should buy a copy. …Sarah has a fresh perspective on faith, a writing style that is personal and unique, and an uncanny way to make you laugh, smile, and cry all within a couple of pages.” – Brad Lomenick

  • Leadership Journal

    “[Sarah] believes in ‘keeping the faith’ and ‘tradition.'”

  • Religion News

    “Anyone who’s every poured themselves into living out their faith, or championing a cause, has had to face the inevitable conflict between idealism and reality. I struggled with this tension years ago after finding myself disappointed with the way I felt many Christian churches in America were failing to communicate good news and effectively love their neighbors. In a bookstore one day, I stumbled across Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generationwhich taught me that I was not alone and reminded me that God works through imperfect people and churches. In many ways, it restored my faith.” – Jonathan Merritt

  • Publishers Weekly

    “A bit of a mashup of an Advent calendar and the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon, this book—originally self-published with different illustrations in 2012, and then as an e-book with the current art in 2013—presents the Nativity story from the perspectives of key characters in a typical “manger scene.” Cunningham explains how adults can wrap and hide individual figurines around the house, and then read the related rhyming story together with children once they locate and unwrap the figurine. Beginning with Mary, mother of Jesus, and ending with Baby Jesus, nine characters have their say, including the Angel: “Have you heard how angels lit up the sky/ And delivered a message from our God on high?” Comedic, animation-flavored artwork gives the proceedings a slick, commercial look. This volume can be purchased individually or with a boxed manger scene containing wooden standing figures. Ages 4–up.”

  • USA Today

    “Sarah Cunningham, a writer herself and author of Dear Church: Letters From a Disillusioned Generation, examines the book in the context of how Christians might look at environmental issues.”  – Cathy Lynn Grossman

  • Relevant Magazine

    “Plenty of voices…express disillusionment…Sarah Cunningham’s letters to the church show her journey THROUGH disillusionment. It’s a refreshing perspective.”    

  • Catalyst

    “The Well-Balanced World Changer is a breath of fresh air for leaders who need a crash course in the art of setting healthy expectations and pushing through disappointment to stay the course and finish well…It provides dozens of sticky insights that will help you pace yourself so you can live out your passions and great ideas for the long haul.” – Brad Lomenick

  • Christian Retailing Magazine

    “Day 2 featured The Donkey in the Living Room ($9.97 on sale), which hit No. 1 on the [Parable] group’s best-sellers list Dec. 9. It sold nearly 13 times as many units as the second best-selling product that day.” 

  • Religion News

    “In her newest book, The Well-Balanced World Changer, Cunningham continues a conversation she’s been leading for some time addressing how to stay sane while serving God. Her book is relevant giving the uptick in socially-conscious do-gooders and recent statistics demonstrating the tendency for those in ministry to burnout.” – Jonathan Merritt

  • MLive.Com

    “Cunningham weaves faith into down-to-earth metaphors of growth and renewal. It’s at times funny as she describes growing up near a cemetery in Monroe County and includes stories she heard from her grandmother, a British war bride….Humility and humor are part of Cunningham’s book as she challenges readers to ‘apply faith principles we experience to find more of a piece of Eden in our lives’.” – Monetta Harr

  • Mike Foster, People of the Second Chance

    “The moment I met Sarah Cunningham I was blown away by her passion, deep wisdom, and love for God. Without question she is a voice that we all need to be listening to. Picking Dandelions is a beautifully honest look at life, the struggle of faith, and embracing change in our lives.” 


  • Ron Edmondson, Christian blogger and pastor

    “My friend Sarah Cunningham recently released her new book, The Well Balanced World Changer: A Field Guide for Staying Sane While Doing Good, a few days back. The book has been getting a lot of attention, partially because it is packed full of leadership quotes–the kind you’ve probably seen shared on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.” 


  • Jenni Catron, Author and leadership consultant

    “Sarah’s book, The Well Balanced World Changer: A Field Guide for Staying Sane While Doing Good, is a collection of dozens of 2-5 page essays that are brimming with similar wisdom, illustrations and what she calls “sticky stories” that provided a breath of fresh air along the way as she pursued her life and ministry ambitions.” 


  • Shayne Moore, Author and activist

    “Cunningham again reminds me that I am not a rock star and neither are you. What a relief! Rather, we are more than enough. Together we are God’s hands and feet placed exactly where he wants us for his purposes in our generation. Would-be world changers get a fresh idea of what this looks like in an ordinary yet intentional life.” 

  • Charles Lee, Author and CEO of Ideation

    “Reading The Well-Balanced World Changer is like having coffee with a good friend who cares enough to talk about things that really matter. You will feel exposed, challenged, and embraced all at the same time. This book is food for the soul of any world changer.” 

  • Shane Claiborne, Author and activist

    We are all comfortable around what’s familiar–we gravitate toward people who look like us and get irritated when our routines get interrupted. But we know–deep down–that the Gospel calls us into the pain of the world rather than away from it. We know that our familiar friends, as nice as they are, don’t always reflect the diversity and complexity of the company Jesus kept. In the end, we know that God is not calling a suffering world to come find the church, but God is saying to a comfortable church–“Go into the world and find me in prisons, and in the streets, and in the hospitals, and maybe even next door. But we say, “I don’t know where to begin.” Thanks to Sarah Cunningham, that excuse won’t work anymore.” 


  • Carlos Whitaker, Musician and blogger

    “When I read books it takes me weeks, months, not hours.
    I read this in one night with a ice cream break in between.
    Sarah’s writing style along with her fresh approach towards what it takes to be a growing believer captivated me for hours.
    And now I am captivated by her other writing as well.
    It is only so often that you find a voice that really is unique yet feels like you have known them forever.
    Picking Dandelions does just that.
    Just thought I would drop a new book in your lap that is well worth the time.” 


  • Lindsey Nobles, Former Thomas Nelson Executive

    “Sarah Cunningham, like a lot of us, wears multiple hats and has her hands in multiple projects at any given time. She’s speaking at Christian events, emceeing at STORY, writing and developing resources for publishers…and then there’s those two toddlers who live with she and her husband.And also, like a lot of us, she’s experienced some great wins at times, while finding herself totally sidelined by disappointment and exhaustion at others…There are certain ideas or insights that help you, say, set realistic expectations, operate with healthy boundaries, keep a sane pace, or recover from disappointments faster. All of these principles–often captured in stories told to her by others–were life rafts to Sarah as her ideals collided with reality and they inspired her to collect this sort of counsel for other world changers.” 


  • Jason Boyett, Author

    “[Sarah Cunningham] is a great writer. She’s an interesting person. She’s got excellent stories to tell and makes thoughtful observations about contemporary Christianity. I loved this book.” 

  • Ray Hollenbach, ChurchLeaders.Com

    “Author Sarah Cunningham has a wide range of interests, most of which intersect at the local church. Her new project could easily be dismissed as simply a ‘children’s book,’ except it grew out of her history growing up as a preacher’s kid. ‘The Donkey in the Living Room’ is an interactive concept that invites children to unwrap one manger scene figure each day leading up to Christmas, and then to have their parent read the figure’s corresponding story in the book.” 

  • Kary Oberbrunner, Pastor and author

    “Those strongest in the faith are those who’ve questioned their faith. In her bold new book, Sarah Cunningham embraces honesty, taking us deep into her evolving understanding of God and his world. Within her story, she helps us rediscover a sincere wonder once again.” 


  • Mary Darling, Author of The God of Intimacy and Action

    “What an engaging book! Whether the idea of change excites or scares you, Sarah’s moving and humorous accounts of her own life will inspire and challenge you to see any changes in your own life as opportunities to intentionally grow toward Eden.” 


  • Scot McKnight, author of Jesus Creed

    “”What I like most about this book is this: it works through real problems — and she doesn’t sugar coat this stuff — into disillusionment and then, beyond disillusionment, into a genuinely realistic and robust embrace.” 


  • Conrad Gempf, author of Jesus Asked and Mealtime Habits of the Messiah

    “Sarah is one of those authors where you forget you’re reading. It’s more like she’s sitting there across from you, sipping her skinny cappucino, eyeing your almond croissant and you’re listening to her but knowing she’s wondering whether she should’ve gotten one of those too. When you tell someone about one story or another (and you will because they’re irresistible) you’re really going to tempted to start it with “You know what Sarah told me yesterday?” I’m telling you, she’s in the room with you; it’s weird.” 


  • Vince Beresford, Campus Pastor, Vanguard University

    “Sarah is an unlikely revolutionary who weaves organic humanity within a beautiful narrative pursuit of childlike faith.” 

  • Tony Campolo, Author and Speaker

    “The Church should be the only club in the world that exists for the benefits of its non-members. In this book, Sarah Cunningham spells out concrete, practical ways to make that happen. Using Biblical directives she lays out how the local church can be THE CHURCH.” 


  • David McDonald, Pastor and Author, Westwinds Community Church

    “I confess I wasn’t initially excited to read a book about Jesus-gardening, but Sarah is funny … and sharp … and this book got me thinking more about spiritual transformation than any of the books I’ve read by old men in camel-hair shirts. Turns out, following Jesus is as much about hugging my daughter and laughing at my failures as it is about self-discipline, accountability, and prayer. If you want to read a book about Christian spirituality in real life, then read this one.” 

  • John Voelz, Pastor and Author, Westwinds Community Church

    “Do you ever find yourself saying, ‘I wish I had said that’? Sometimes, another voice comes along and invites us into their world in such a way that we see our world clearer. Sarah has the ability to say very serious things without taking herself too seriously. This makes her very likeable and approachable, like we’re in this together. She is conversational, not preachy. A teacher, not a sage. A willing tour guide, not a hired docent. Wise, not a smarty-pants. A word-artist, not simply a writer.” 

  • Tom Krattenmaker, author of Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower

    “For those dedicating their lives and careers to changing the world for the better, burnout and disillusionment are real and present dangers. Exhausting schedules and to-do lists, society’s resistance to change, the appearance of insurmountable odds and scant progress—these can drain the energy, happiness, and health of even the most stalwart activist. How can change agents fight the worthy fight and still have a healthy, enjoyable life? Michigan-based writer, activist, self-professed idea junkie Sarah Cunningham has a new book out that aims to answer that. ” 


  • Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood People

    “Change is hard. Keep going. Read this book and you will be encouraged to pursue and balance your dream of changing the world. We all need this.” 


  • Rachel Held Evans, Author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood

    “What I love about Sarah is that she’s a big dreamer with ambitions and ideas and goals, but she’s also a deliberate dreamer, someone who is mindful about her relationships and her well-being and about how her decisions might affect the most important things in her life.  As someone who gets overwhelmed at times by the ‘industry’ of Christian publishing, I look to people like Sarah to remind of what’s most important.” 


  • Daryl Dash, Author and blogger

    “Does Cunningham have anything to offer in this crowded [memoir] genre? Absolutely. For one thing, great writing. I read a lot of books, and a very few are characterized by the quality of writing in this book. A few pages into this memoir and I relaxed. It’s the same feeling you get (I imagine) when you’re being chauffeured by someone who really knows how to drive.” 


  • Susan Isaacs, Author and comedian

    “Sarah describes herself as a moderate middle-class white girl who grew up in the Michigan countryside, but speaks about God with humor and honesty more characteristic of liberal west-coast writers. Anne Lamott is one of her faves.” 


  • Anne Marie Miller, Author and blogger

    “It’s sort of refreshing that Sarah, raised in the right wing, can weave elements of faith into a spiritual memoir too because it suggests that there are valid, messy spiritual discoveries for all of us, no matter what corner of the earth or political landscape we grow up on.” 


  • Ed Cyzewski, Author and blogger

    “…[Sarah] she has found how to tell compelling stories as Sarah Cunningham much like Donald Miller tells authentic stories as Donald Miller. You don’t feel like you’re reading a Miller clone, but you do have someone who knows how to tell a good story, to share self-deprecating scenarios, and to reflect on meeting God in the everyday scenes of life.” 


  • Richard J. Vincent, Blogger at Theocentric

    “”Unlike Spencer Burke’s recent sophomoric tirade against the church, Sarah shows great wisdom and maturity. Even more, she offers hope. I get the sense that Sarah has a deep love for the church – a love that is willing to bear with disappointment in order to love the reality.”

  • U.K. Christian Bookshops

    “So then, whether you’re a person who’s disillusioned with church or a person who’s brimming with enthusiasm for it, this is a book that, in my opinion, has something to say to you. Each chapter ends with a series of discussion questions: rather than just buy one for yourself, why not encourage a friend — or even a group of friends — to buy one too, then get together and work through the questions?” – Phil Groom

  • Tim Worsham, Refuge

    “Sarah Cunningham is the conscience of her generation. Her wrestling match with organized Christianity is representative of so many 18-30 year olds. In fact believers well past the age of thirty are likely to resonate with the pains and joys that Sarah recounts in this collection of metaphorical letters. Other books in the disgruntled twenty-something genre (and there are many) are thinly veiled cheap shots at an older generation and their systems and rituals. While Sarah pulls no punches, she weighs each criticism carefully before diagnosing a problem and offering helpful and nuanced solutions. …Throughout there is an undercurrent of love which gives this book a nice aftertaste.” 

  • Chris Monroe, Paradoxology

    “Her book, ‘Dear Church: Letters From A Disillusioned Generation’, recently hit the shelves and will likely do well — especially among younger and younger-minded readers who have become disenchanted with the institutional church and yet desire to be people of passionate faith and devoted followers of Jesus.” 

  • Jason Clark, Emergent Coordinator for the U.K.

    “An exploration of not just what is wrong with church, but the unrealistic expectations of people of the church. That is not just about the church changing, but us changing too, and seeing what we do that contributes to the problem.”