Thursday, October 10, 2019

The quiet leader

In his book The Tortoise Usually Wins, Brian Harris describes the typical profile of a leader and then turns to the quiet leader:

By contrast we have usually benefited from leaders who work quietly and conscientiously to ensure that their organization flourishes and grows. They include others in their decision-making, but aren’t swayed by every voice. They know where they are going and won’t be sidetracked. They affirm and recognize others, especially noticing the contribution that each makes and helping ensure that it is both acknowledged and optimized. When the going is tough, they see things through. They always knew they had signed up for the long term, and that even the best years have a range of seasons. They are quiet leaders, and those who follow their lead feel a sense of security in knowing that they are there.

Thankful that I get to follow and serve a leader who is the epitome of a quiet leader, Mark Sherratt.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

A sketch of a prophet for today

A beautiful sketch of a prophet, 

 So, class of 2011, standing on Mount Elijah and looking toward Zarephath, what do we learn about ministry that might be called prophetic? This: you have to trust in God’s ability to create out of the most unpromising raw material a community of mutual caring. Like Elijah, you have to be willing to be called into a desperate situation, with no clue as to how to improve it. 

Like him, you have to go among strangers, as needy as you and even more clueless, with nothing more substantial to offer than a word that you trust is from God. Like Elijah, you have to go to people who don’t seem to know God at all, and risk everything on God’s ability to speak into their profound deafness—the deafness not just of individuals but of a whole culture. 

You have to trust that God’s Word and Spirit can awaken in them a capacity for generous and faithful action, so they will make your work fruitful in that unpromising place. 

 Elen Davis (Preaching the luminous Word)

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Who has God given you to preach to?

A reminder for us preachers to know their congregation:

There is the one who can’t stop thinking about suicide. The one who experiences his own sexuality as a guilt of which he can never be absolved. The one whose fear of death is only a screen behind which lies his deeper fear of life. The one who is in a way crippled by her own beauty because it has meant that she has never had to be loving or human to be loved but only beautiful. And the angry one. The lonely one. For the preacher to be relevant to the staggering problems of history is to risk being irrelevant to the staggering problems of the ones who sit there listening out of their own histories. To deal with the problems to which there is a possible solution can be a way of avoiding the problems to which humanly speaking there is no solution. 
 Frederick Buechner (Telling the truth)