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"Solutions in book are larger than they appear."


Wow, I've never had a discussion develop in my comments. Thanks guys.

As I've read the comment I've been thinking how easily emotional strength and stability is misconstrued as a mark of spirituality. As if Jesus' word about serving out of weakness really didn't matter...

Somehow I think we are going to be overwhelmingly surprised when we see Jesus face to face. What we counted as important will seem inconsequent. Those who were marginalized and left on the side will be seen as those who walked closely with Christ.

Those who had no voice and still followed the way, those who truly wept with those who wept will find a welcome at that time they never had.

We see little of what really matters and so much that doesn't gets the headlines. Our hope is that one day, Christ will make all right.

Definitely, Nicole. I'm afraid I was all too easily influenced by the polished, perfected humility (if you know what I mean), well-timed, Spirit-led (yet finishing on schedule) approach. Unfortunately for me, life intervened and suddenly I found myself in need of some acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation from the very same people that I'd shared 'centre-stage' with, as it were. Needless to say, a complete non-believer, preferably from a minority group, is more acceptable in the 'emerging church' than a fellow believer who is going through a hard time. Cynical? Maybe. Realistic? In my experience, definitely.

Here's another question? To what extent are our expectations of leadership defined by our cultural perspective? (or what are they defined by?) I ask this because I myself am not at all drawn to the 'Alpha Male' leadership to which you are referring. I am not attracted to a polished, perfect style, program, sermon, approach or personality, where the empahsis seems to be on the outside appearances - getting bigger, behaving better or whatever. I find that I can't relate to this style of leadership - I'm certainly not polished or perfect, and if you take one look at my life you will see many flaws and imperfections, so I simply feel intimidated and, to be honest, skeptical, of this approach. I suppose my question is: why don't I want to follow/become like these people, yet so many around me seem so taken in by it all?

Yeah, it seems that a lot of church leadership consists of 'spiritual' Gilderoy Lockharts!

No Paul, they probably wouldn't - but our "Alpha male" leadership only listen to other alpha male leaders, and then, only to those who have larger churches than them, or have written more books. I'm going to far with this, but a well known leader recently had a book published about "grace" - the beginning of the book has the leader/author reflecting on a time he was signing copies of his books! I didn't get past the prologue . . . Christ was exalted by God, in part, because of his humility - if only this was the most saught after character trait of Jesus!

Just a question - how would the likes of Henri Nouwen fare if he entered one of the churches following the latest, greatest thing, and dared to confess his inadequacies, his fears, his doubts - would he be seen as a potential leader? Or would he be pigeon-holed into one of the many boxes for 'back-sliders', 'worldly Christians', 'unbelievers' or quite possibly 'insane'? I would hazard a guess that the church leadership wouldn't be rushing to base their next programme of events on what he had to say.

Ca marche pas! Je n'ai pas les opportunites de pratiquer...peut-etre c'est evident. Always good to come across your stuff and recognise a practioner concerned to do real contextual mission; especially where that concerns the beautiful context of France

It's interesting that Ali mentions Henri Nouwen in his comment, I was actually thinking of Nouwen myself as I read your 'rant'. I thought of Nouwen because when I first discovered his books a few years ago they were the first spiritual books that I had ever read that I really connected with and that truly impacted me, and I think it was precisely because he wasn't selling a formula, providing answers or promising he could give you the secret to a healthy spiritual life (or whatever); but just honestly sharing his heart. After I read Nouwen I started to realise that the reason that I had never really connected with many other spiritual/christian books I had read was because the formulas/answers/programs never worked for me. Maybe it's because I'm European and much of the Christian material I have access to is North American and therefore from a different perspective; or maybe it's just because I'm a bad person:)!!

Yeah good rant, I'm going to advocate all that you have said and direct all those that visit my blog here - YOUR principles are the ones I am going to follow in my ministry, that way lies the success that I crave! Seriously, if we had fewer Alpha Males leading "big" ministries who needed to be in control of everything . . . . . it is God's Kingdom but "many are called and few are chosen" - they deffinitely see themselves as among the chosen . . . . . . and maybe a few more leaders with the heart of people like Henri Nouwen, see "In the name of Jesus", reflections on Christian leadership.

nice rant...

Good one!
"We become defined by the conferences we attend and the books and blogs we read" - and then fail to see any good or God outside of that (or at least that's the trap many seem to fall into).

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