This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
I picked up the Summer 2005 issue of Leadership Journal at the office today. The theme is spiritual transformation, and it's one of the better issues I've read. Some samples:
I have to ask myself, Do I trust Jesus? Do I trust Jesus with this church? As pastors we've been trained to trust experts to help us build the church. If we truly trust Jesus, maybe we should begin by seeking his ways before we buy the latest church growth book. Jesus said, "I will build my church." Maybe we need to go away for five days and say, "Jesus, what do you want me to do?" And then learn to listen and obey. (Dieter Zander)
Pastors need to redefine success. The popular model of success involves the ABCs – attendance, buildings, and cash. Instead of counting Christians, we need to weigh them. We weigh them by focusing on the most important kind of growth – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and so on – fruit in keeping with the Gospel and the kingdom. (Dallas Willard)
Soul cultivation goes before institution building…The forming of the soul that it might be a dwelling place for God is the primary work of the Christian leader. This is not an add-on, an option, or a third-level priority. Without this core activity, one almost guarantees that he/she will not last in leadership for a lifetime or what work is accomplished will become less and less reflective of God's honor and God's purposes. (Gordon MacDonald)
And this quote from Henri Nouwen:
The way of a Christian leader is not the way of upward mobility in which the world has invested so much, but the way of downward mobility ending on the cross…It is not a leadership of power and control, but a leadership of powerlessness and humility in which the suffering servant of God, Jesus Christ, is made manifest.
The main theme running through the issue is the importance of spiritual formation. The flip side is that this isn't happening in many of our churches. A very helpful issue indeed.