Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Nouwen on Spiritual Leadership

I surprise myself to see that after 16 months of blogging, I still haven't featured anything from Henri Nouwen. He's among my favorite authors (a pretty long list, admittedly), and every book of his that I've read has left me with something good to think about.

Here are some excerpts from his 1989 book, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. He describes the kind of leader I desire to be:

It is not enough for the priests and ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership. The central question is, Are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty, to touch God's incarnate Word, and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?
For the future of Christian leadership it is of vital importance to reclaim the mystical aspect of theology so that every word spoken, every word of advice given, and every strategy developed can come from a heart that knows God intimately.
Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time. Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word Jesus, and they need to find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance. . . . Dealing with burning issues without being rooted in a deep personal relationship with God easily leads to divisiveness because, before we know it, our sense of self is caught up in our opinion about a given subject. But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.

pp. 43-47

1 comment:

  1. I just got done reading wounded healer on this trip, I can def tell that I will like more of what he has to say.
    I also think it would be super cool if you started riding a skateboard.