Hidden Agendas by Steve Brown

Do you have a hidden agenda to get you to where you want to be while you’re wearing a mask along the way? Steve Brown outlines how to acknowledge and overcome these plans and live genuine lives in his new book, Hidden Agendas. “Being real” has to start with your relationship with your heavenly Father. God already knows you inside and out. But God doesn’t know you in order to “out” you to your friends. His unconditional love for his own is reason we can pray to our Father without fear of rejection or judgment. Knowing God’s love, knowing that your heavenly Father is for you not against you is the only reason to give up your masks and develop the type of authentic relationships you never thought you could have.


{More about Hidden Agendas}

Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart (New Growth Press, May 2016)

We like to pretend that hidden agendas are just for self-important bosses or egotistical politicians, but we all have them. Deep down, we all have a secret plan for getting from where we are to where we want to be, even if we refuse to admit it to ourselves.

And if our hidden agendas aren’t enough, we wear masks to obscure the truth even more. We put on these masks—like religion, appearance, power, politics, or protection—to drive our agendas. But all of this leaves us feeling phony, ashamed, guilty, and afraid. It’s killing us and hurting those we love. But for most of us, it will be a cold day in a hot place before we will be fully honest with anyone else.

There is so much more to life than hiding, pretending, and never being loved. In fact, there is already one person who sees behind the masks we wear and the hidden agendas that drive us. It does no good to tell God that you’re sick when you’re drunk, that you love him when you don’t, or that you didn’t steal and eat an apple (with apple juice dripping down your chin). God always recognizes and loves the “you” behind the mask.

So what can we do about the hidden agendas we have and the masks we wear? How can we gather the courage to be real? “Being real” has to start with your relationship with your heavenly Father. God already knows you inside and out. But God doesn’t know you in order to “out” you to your friends. His unconditional love for his own is reason we can pray to our Father without fear of rejection or judgment. Knowing God’s love, knowing that your heavenly Father is for you not against you is the only reason to give up your masks and develop the type of authentic relationships you never thought you could have.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Steve Brown

{More About Steve Brown}

Steve Brown is a radio broadcaster, author, and the founder of Key Life Network. A former pastor, he also sits on the board of Harvest USA and devotes much of his time to the radio broadcasts “Key Life” and “Steve Brown, Etc.”

Find out more about Steve at http://www.keylife.org/authors/steve-brown.

Press Kit

Click to download the Hidden Agendas press kit.

Click to download a Q&A with Steve.


Contact: Audra Jennings
Litfuse Publicity Group
audra {at} litfusegroup {dot} com

Drop the mask and get real

Steve Brown calls readers to live honestly and embrace God’s shocking grace

5/16/2016 || Seattle: It’s easy to imagine high-powered executives and egotistical politicians having hidden agendas. What may not be so simple to accept is that deep down, all have a secret plan for getting themselves from where they are to where they want to be. As author and radio host Steve Brown has written in Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart (New Growth Press/May 16, 2016/ISBN: 978-1942572657/ $17.99), people, especially Christians, wear disguises to make it easier to accomplish these concealed plans. These masks might be religion, appearance or power, and the pressure of keeping it all together can be overwhelming. For most, though, it will be a cold day in a hot place before they are fully honest with anyone else about their fears, struggles and sins.

Why do Christians do this? While they may begin their walk with Christ basking in the light of forgiveness and redemption, they soon feel the sting of judgment when they fall short, whether from their own guilt or the criticism of others. As a survival mechanism, they hide their failings to avoid pain and accomplish their personal goals, lying to themselves, others and even God.

Brown knows how they feel. After serving 25 years as a senior pastor, he resigned his post at his church, feeling crushed by the weight of the pressures he had created in his life. Since those difficult days, he’s learned there is so much more to living than hiding, pretending and never being loved. “We’re all phony, ashamed, guilty and afraid,” Brown writes. “It’s killing us and hurting those we love.” Inspired by his experience, Brown invites readers to move beyond hiding to finding the courage to get real.

In Hidden Agendas, Brown explains “being real” starts first and foremost with their relationship with their heavenly father. After all, God already knows his children inside and out, and his unconditional love is the true reason they can live without fear of rejection or judgment. “It does no good to tell God you’re sick when you’re drunk, you love him when you don’t or you didn’t steal and eat an apple when you have apple juice dripping down your chin,” Brown says. “God always recognizes and loves the ‘you’ behind the mask.” Readers will learn that once they grasp the true nature of the forgiveness and grace God offers their sinful selves, they will finally be able to drop their masks and live in freedom and honesty with others.

Hidden Agendas is easy to read and perfect for either individual or small-group use with its chapter-by-chapter questions for reflection. Raw and real, this book forces readers to confront the ugly truth of the conscious and subconscious deceptions they practice and the dangerous behaviors that can sabotage any real chance for authentic, loving relationships. 

With his characteristic dry wit and good humor, Brown calls readers of Hidden Agendas to embrace God’s shocking grace and live freely and courageously in the truth about ourselves and others.

Learn more about more about Hidden Agendas and Steve Brown at www.keylife.org, or follow him on Facebook (Dr.SteveBrown) and Twitter (drstevewbrown).

About the Author

Steve Brown is the founder of Key Life Network, which exists to communicate that the deepest message of the ministry of Jesus is the radical grace of God. Having spent 25 years as a pastor, Brown now devotes much of his time to the radio broadcasts Key Life and Steve Brown, Etc. which are currently heard on more than 600 outlets.

Brown has a B.A. in philosophy and religion from High Point College and an S.T.B. degree from Boston University School of Theology. He is a visiting professor of practical theology at Knox Theological Seminary and at Westminster Theological Seminary. Brown is also an in-demand speaker and the author of numerous books, including A Scandalous Freedom, How to Talk So People Will Listen and Approaching God. His articles have also appeared in many top Christian publications.

Additionally, Brown is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Religious Broadcasters and a current member of the Board of Harvest, USA.

With such varied experience, Brown refuses to be a “guru,” doesn’t want to be anyone’s mother and gives, in his teaching, the freedom to think. He lives in Florida with his wife, Anna. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Keep up with Steve Brown at www.keylife.org, on Facebook (Dr.SteveBrown) and via Twitter (drstevewbrown).

Suggested interview questions

—You open Hidden Agendas by saying you have “lived long enough and sinned big enough” to be able to write this book. Explain what you mean by that.

—Do all Christians have an agenda? Are their agendas always hidden?

—Is it OK to have an agenda as long as you are open and honest about it?

—What do you mean when you say we wear masks? Why do we wear them?

—How does wearing masks to accomplish our hidden agendas hurt us and the people we love?

—Why do you think Christians in particular are masters at developing and maintaining masks?

—Why are we so afraid people will discover the truth about us?

—You say as you get older, the need for you to hide seems to grow smaller. Why do you think that is?

—Where did most of us learn to try and manipulate how others perceive us?

—For the sake of propriety shouldn’t we all wear some kind of mask from time to time? Are there healthy masks?

—What advice do you have for determining the proper time and place to remove a mask? Can it ever be dangerous?

—If there is so much risk involved in being open and honest with others, why do it?

—In our narcissistic culture, it’s easy to feel like no secrets are left untold and nothing is sacred. How is what you’re proposing different?

—What should someone do if a friend or loved one confesses a sin to him or her? How do they balance showing grace and not condoning sin?

—How do you recommend people “put legs” to what you’ve written in this book?

To request a review copy of Hidden Agendas, schedule an interview with Steve Brown, or for more information, please contact Audra Jennings, audra@litfusegroup.com.


“Since 1980, I have been turning to the teachings of Steve Brown for encouragement and direction. His words have inspired, encouraged, shocked, and entertained me. He’s never boring, always fresh, and most of all, he loves Jesus. This book is a delight and so is its author.” —Max Lucado, Pastor; bestselling author of Glory Days

“Beloved, this book is a treasure. Steve, in his winsome, down-to-earth way frees you from the desire to remain hidden and gently leads you into the truth of who you really are. I found myself laughing one second and weeping for joy the next. Read, rejoice, rest.” —Jessica Thompson, Speaker; author of Everyday Grace



    Hidden Agendas is a resource written by key founder of Key Life Network and former pastor Steve Brown for study groups to read and consider the “hidden agendas” in our lives. The topic of learning how to shed our many “masks” of what we want to be and try to become who we really are. I would recommend this novel to readers that want to learn to become your true self.

    Written by Singing Librarian Books on July 12, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1Y0JBERA7UKB7/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv


    This book made me laugh, it made me nod my head in agreement, it made me grin, and it made me want to take my mask off a little bit more. I loved it. I think everyone should read this book. This book is going on my bookshelf, and that is rare. I can’t wait to recommend it to everyone I know, and read more books by Steve Brown in the future.

    Written by The Talbert Report on July 8, 2016


    This book is a highly realistic view of some things that are wrong in the church as a whole. We’ve gotta quit with the phoniness. There are a few knit picky things I don’t like about this book, but there are more good points (and some pretty convicting ones) that makes this worth the read.

    Written by Mama Bear Inc. on July 2, 2016


    I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate the phenomenal resource that Hidden Agendas [Dropping the Masks that Keep us Apart] is for Christian leaders. Whether you hold a leadership position within the church or within a Christian setting via pastorship, lay leader, paid position, counseling or simply by default (and don’t we all feel that way sometimes?), Hidden Agendas is a “must read”.

    Written by Rockin’ My Mom Jeans on June 30, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3NB7SDWFBM22B/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv


    I really appreciated this book and the keen insight that it had. Filled with such applicable knowledge that really dives into one of the major issues in the church, wearing masks and not being real and honest with one another. This book really addresses how pretending and not being fully honest with one another is so crippling to the church as a whole, I have struggled with both wearing masks to hide my true self and feeling like I cannot relate to others because of the masks that they wear and this book really addresses those issues in such a clear, delightful way. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Written by Perfect Beginnings on June 30, 2016


    This book is a very important reminder for “good” Christians to realize that everyone has a mask. I appreciated SO much about Steve Brown’s book, including the need to drop the mask, the need for community, and the need for a “real” relationship with God. I was glad there were questions (for group and/or individual study) and Scripture at the end of each chapter; I like this to help me review the chapter and get the main points the author made. I liked the emphasis on our vertical relationship with God-how God views his sons and daughters.

    Written by Wife, Mummy, Nurse on June 30, 2016


    This book was a good and challenging read from Pastor Steve Brown. In the book Brown addresses the masks we tend to wear and how that affects who we are as Christians as well as how it affects others. Wearing these masks that he discusses in his book also hinders in our relationship with Christ an from being who God wants us to be. This book is one that everyone needs to read. It will challenge you to examine the hidden masks you have in your own life. It may not be easy hearing what he has to say but it is worth it.

    I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my review.

    Written by Rejoice Evermore on June 30, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/gp/f.html?C=3EWUX9XMFO3LG&K=A228H1KUX9ZYOH&R=3Z4FBUO93PXO&T=C&U=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Freview%2FR3MK7YK2KY31QP%2Fref%3Dpe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv&A=O5IQ3UUZWZBLLQCYALTJL3QGTKAA&H=AUYBVNHHVWENCVFVUPASMXAILAOA&ref_=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv


    I appreciate this book because each chapter builds the case for dropping the mask and exposing our real identities- we’re the makers of mistakes, the bumbling fools, the confused and disturbed. We’re also the utterly loved and fully redeemed children of God.

    Written by Found a Christian by His Grace on June 29, 2016


    Although this is a serious subject, Mr. Brown injects his writing with humor which makes this book very interesting and a page turner. I was immediately drawn into the book after reading about the author’s own emotional breakdown that felt eerily similar to the things I have felt. All this pretending does not help us.

    Written by Julie – More Of Him on June 28, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3Q3MY9CJUVYI6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm


    This book was interesting, as the author has some good points about the masks we hide behind at church. I thought that his thoughts about confessing our sins were especially interesting.

    Written by Inklings and Notions on June 27, 2016


    This book is subtitled “Dropping the Masks That Keep Us Apart”. I have written a few blog posts about wearing masks, so this book interested me as soon as I read the information on it. The book covers the issue much better and in more depth than I ever have. There is a lot of information in this book: why we wear masks, who we try to wear them for, how to and when to take them off, who to take them off for, and everything in between.

    Written by Thoughts of a Sojourner on June 25, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2H312QQ2LR7BB/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv


    The author has a knack for taking intimidating topics and presenting them to us in a highly readable way. For instance, Hidden Agenda shows how “The Devil’s Trinity” of shame, guilt and fear keeps us trapped in a lifestyle of inauthenticity, and how embracing our faith and living lives as justified, imputed, adopted and sanctified Christians frees us to live the authentic lives before one another that God intended. This book is highly life-giving and a recommended read.

    Written by Create With Joy on June 25, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/RJ9885DGPJYDH/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1942572654


    Steve has a keen sense of humor and bluntly speaks his mind. He doesn’t beat around the bush and comes straight out and says what he thinks. One can glean a great deal of truth from his book. Well written and gives his readers much to digest and think about. My only criticism is that in a few places I did get a little confused about what point he was trying to make, but otherwise I felt this was a good book and gives one much to chew on.

    Written by Four Seasons of Blessings on June 25, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review?ie=UTF8&asin=1942572654&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=283155&ref_=cm_cr_dp_wrt_btm&store=books&#


    Brown’s style pulls no punches. He’s clear, concise, and in your face. He writes with the humor of an excellent speaker, punctuating truth with a dash of absurdity. The book reads like a spoken sermon, laced with phrases cleverly turned and fingers pointed. As well written as the book is, I found it rather tedious.

    Written by An Ordinary Woman Pursing Splendor on June 24, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2DLOFNR7XRRXO/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv


    Hidden Agendas: (dropping the masks that keep us apart) by Steve Brown is an eye-opener read that is so honest and so fresh that it will keep you turning the pages and leave you thinking about it long after you close the book.

    Written by Moments on June 23, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3AZDTNQ2U8ZA9/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1942572654


    This book is confusing in that it has some good points regarding other humans but isn’t very strong or Biblical concerning our God who is not only a loving God but also a perfectly Righteous and Just God!

    Written by Books, Beautiful Books on June 23, 2016
    Read my full review: https://www.amazon.com/review/R1VYGLM1CK2CKI/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv


    Steve Brown is a pastor who has written this book about our hidden agendas. This book is about how we really feel and how we can stop the acting and start living the way GOD wants us to live. Steve tells his story of how being a pastor is not what you really see………..

    Written by Deb’s Book Review on June 19, 2016


    The cry for satisfaction in God’s acceptance of the individual, and the need for and benefits of authentic living, is a much needed message, powerfully presented here. But I finished the book feeling like I had been giving only half the story. I recommend this book, with the “kicker” that the reader treat it as just one aspect on the subject, not a well-rounded study.

    Written by The Minister’s Wife on June 19, 2016


    In a mere 208 pages, Steve throws in quite a punch that at first took some time in getting into, but once you are acquainted with his style of writing, you’ll get it. There’s a lot of unmasking going on, followed with stories and how tos, and even a brief Q&A area.

    Written by Just Commonly on June 18, 2016


    He talks about some big concepts such as being crucified with Christ, justification, sanctification, our own suffering, and even explains how masks hinder our mission to share the gospel with the world. He does it all with big stories, jokes and examples that are breathtakingly beautiful.

    Written by Raventhreads on June 16, 2016