Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nouwen Part 7

“Feed my sheep”. Three simple words with direct implication on what we are to be doing as leaders. All of the issues in previous posts lead us to be able to do this. When we show our true love through obedience, spend time in contemplative prayer to determine the heart and will of the Father, and live in such a way as to not draw attention ourselves but to God, we are ready to take on this task. Here are some of Nouwen’s thoughts.

· Having been assured of Peter’s love, Jesus gives him the task of ministry
· He makes it clear that ministry is a communal and mutual experience. Jesus sends the twelve out in pairs. (Mark 6:7)
· We cannot bring good news on our own. We are called to proclaim the Gospel together, in community
· I have found over and over again how hard it is to be truly faithful to Jesus when I am alone
· It is Jesus who heals, not I; Jesus who speaks the truth, not I; Jesus who is Lord, not I.
· Whenever we minister together it is easier for people to recognize that we do not come in our own name, but in the name of the Lord Jesus who sent us.
· Ministry is not only a communal experience, it is also a mutual experience
· He wants Peter to feed His sheep and care for them, not as a “professional” who know their clients’ problems and take care of them, but as vulnerable brothers and sisters who know and are known
· Somehow we have come to believe that good leadership requires a safe distance from those we are called to lead.
· How can we lay down our life for those with whom we are not even allowed to to enter into a deep personal relationship?
· We are not the healers, we are the reconcilers, and we are not the givers of life. We are sinful, broken, vulnerable people who need as much care as anyone we care for.
· The leadership about which Jesus speaks is of a radically different kind from the leadership offered by the world. It is a servant leadership
· Leadership that is not modeled on the power games of the world, but on the servant leader Jesus, who came to give his life for the salvation of many

The best of leaders are in the trenches with their troops. They know what they are going through and live it just the same. The leaders who gain the most respect are those who a real. This is the type of leader that Jesus was and calls us all to be; whether that leadership is in out own homes, at our jobs, in the church, or community. There are many who want the title of leader but few who actually are willing to take the responsibility of a leader. That is why people are afraid to follow, especially in the church. I pray that we all are willing to live out our faith in front of those we lead and not be seen as know it alls.

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