Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Thoughts on Leadership

Today I am writing book reports and working on my summative paper for OVI.

I am also reflecting on leadership. This summer our community is going to gather to discuss what leadership at the Vineyard might look like. We are going to have a meal and use thoughts from different sources to help with the discussion. Several years ago I read a little book, In the Name of Jesus, by Henri Nouwen. A couple of thoughts then that I think could be helpful today:

Christian leaders cannot 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. Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn again and again to the voice of love and to find there the wisdom and courage to address whatever issue presents itself to them. 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.

This book is small but rich. Like the thought above I realize how many times I am quick to respond with my opinion from a place that has not taken time to be with God. There is something so true about spending time in contemplative prayer, being present to God, that carries me into situations and being present to other words, I find myself not so quick to respond with my opinion when I practice contemplative prayer consistently...I find that instead of offering a quick opinion I slow down and ask questions and listen.

I am looking forward to these times of discussion and reflection. We will also use some thoughts from Brain McLaren's article "Dorothy on Leadership", the Nouwen book and "Missional Leaders" by Roxburgh....