Mick Mooney’s “Snap” Reveals A Pastor’s Breaking Point

Mick Mooney’s “Snap” Reveals A Pastor’s Breaking Point

SnapOk, full confession.  As a Christian of nearly 40 years who has been a missionary, an elder, an Associate Pastor, and a Senior Pastor I was very familiar with every main character in Mick Mooney’s new novel, Snap.

Yes, I am well acquainted with:

Richard: The “Senior Pastor” who deep down has a heart for God but, over the years, layers of religious performance and expectation created a man who was a caricature of his former self.

Jane: The “Pastor’s Wife” who lives a life of quiet desperation.  Maintaining the obligatory smile outside while inside her spirit rages against the slow drain of her life and dreams.

Frank: The “Pastor’s Kid” who sees the hypocrisy of the entire system and yearns to free his parents of it

Ted: The “Founding Pastor” who left the church ten years ago.  The whispers are that he is living a life of sin and debauchery…or had he found the freedom they all pined for?

Henry: The “Associate Pastor” who faithfully serves the Senior Pastor…especially since he is sitting in the seat he covets.

Yes, Mick Mooney created a cast of characters I knew all to well.  I suppose that’s why I cranked the short novel out in about 3 days;  I felt like the proverbial “fly on the wall” to a complete church melt down.  As the novel’s title implies, each of the characters “snaps” at certain points as their emotional breaking points are reached.

But Mooney doesn’t leave them there.  Anyone who is familiar with his previous work knows that his goal is to see people redeemed from business like church structures and into authentic life giving relationships centered in Christ.


My guess is that “Ted” serves as the voice for Mooney in the novel.  The former church pastor who has “been there and bought the T-shirt”.  He is the voice of reason who is gently introducing people to God’s love free of the “church machine”.  He knows the hold the system has on people, especially people who have invested their whole lives to it.  At one point he explains to his nephew who is frustrated that his pastor father can’t see the “truth”:

” …you have to understand the difference between your journey and your father’s.  When you started challenging the theology you held, you had nothing to lose but your pride.  For your dad, he has invested his whole life building the programs and reputation of Faith First (Church).  He has built a lot of external structures, and to take hold of the truth requires him to let go all he has built.  That’s hard Frank. and it’s hard to understand without being in that position.”


If I have a critique of Snap it would be that at times some of the interactions between characters were not driven so much by story, but but the theological truth Mooney was trying to drive home.  At those moments the narrative transformed into something akin to “Socratic dialogue” which I felt briefly hurt “the story”.

But having said that, Snap was a book I couldn’t put down.  Depending on where you are on your Christian journey will determine how you react to Snap. Some will love it…some will hate it…and for still others it will be transformative; a catalyst for scales being removed from their eyes.

As for me, I’m at the part of the journey where although I haven’t met Mick Mooney I hope to.  And when I do I want to sit on Ted’s veranda, sip some single malt scotch, and talk about the things of God with him.



  • Bob

    And if you would have me, I’d love to sit there w/ you. Not a single malt guy, but I would bring my own six-pack and be on my best behavior. Thanks for the recommendation. Can’t wait to read this one.

    • Steve

      Thanks Bob, I’m looking forward to that day when we can meet outside the “digital” world as well! 🙂 Enjoy the book…

  • P.M. Garland

    Great review. My husband and I are currently reading through Snap, but having to go slow at times because it replays- with unnerving accuracy-large chunks of our lives. It stirs in us an emotional response akin to a Halocaust survivor visiting their concentration camp.

    • Steve

      Yes P.M. I think this book will resonate with the experiences of many Christians. Even if their experiences are not the extremes found in Snap, there will be threads of those experiences. I may not have been a “Richard” but I’d be lying if a few of those roots were not taking hold at times

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