on 20 August 2001
This book is a jewel - invaluable for leadership in any sphere of life, or simply for anyone wanting to lead a good life. It's so short it can be read in an afternoon and yet it is this simplicity that makes it so powerful, containing many volumes of Christian theology and spiritual literature in one single book. Excellent.
on 4 October 2007
Another short (81 pages) and profound work on Jesus' style of servant leadership. I have read and reread this book. Nouwen was a Harvard professor who left the university setting to live in obscurity ministering to mentally handicapped people. He highlights three movements Christian leaders must make in order to lead as Jesus led: from relevance to prayer, from popularity to ministry, from leading to being led. Buy it.
on 18 December 2006
I've just read a dozen recommended books on Christian leadership, and this is the shortest and easily one of the best (along with Walter Wright's Relational Leadership and Viv Thomas' Future Leader). Nouwen writes with a clarity and honesty that is rare, borne from critical reflection on his own experience. He calls us to a vulnerability rooted in a knowledge of God's love for us, in a profound challenge to all Christian leaders. Worth buying while it is still in print.
on 13 September 2009
An excellent and brutally honest breakdown of what we usually consider to be ministry but that often takes the ministers further away from God, leaving them in existential and spiritual emptiness, and the cure, learning to love people again. A very short book but Henri has the wisdom not to use many words for something that can be said with only a few.
on 4 October 2009
Easy to read for a busy person as all ministers are - large print, short chapters!
Inspiring story of one man's journey of healing in the most unexpected place. Henri was succesful in the world's eyes - an academically gifted Christian teacher and lecturer, able to choose his students and audiences and financially well off.
But spiritually he was suffering, until God called him to live with, and minister to, the L'Arche community of mentally handicapped people; and it was there that he discovered healing and what true Christian leadership is about.
A brilliant and inspiring book, not only for church leaders but for everyone. I've read it twice already and used it as a basis for a sermon!
It should be on every Christian's shelf, especially leaders and ministers.
on 21 July 2012
This book feels like it is written for busy ministers. It's short chapters and consistent chapter structure makes it a useful tool, especially for a quiet day. This is not so much a book on "How to do leadership" but rather on "How to be a leader". At the heart of the book are reflections on the spirituality of Christian Leadership.
The book has three chapters that reflect and help leaders to lead as Jesus did: from relevance to prayer, from popularity to ministry, from leading to being led. Each chapter looks at the temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness and Nouwen connects that to the temptations that leaders face and then suggests a way forward, based on Jesus' instruction to Peter on being a leader. Nouwen then suggests a relevant spiritual Discipline.
It's simplicity hides profound depths for personal reflection and does not treat the reader in a patronising manner. The structure of the book facilitates reflection on character and practice.
on 6 November 2014
A really good read by all standards - very informative and relevant to the subject. Just wondering now, how come I am only chancing on it now. Good stuff. I also recommend one titled “Doing Business with God” – here’s a link: