Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders

This book was one of my assigned books read by our staff and discussed in staff meetings. This one actually worked better than most - it didn't turn into a karioke evaluation after the middle trying chapters that are found in most books.

i am trying to process this one, though. I am living in a context where Rob Bell tells me, Everything is Spiritual, yet, if there is a such thing as spiritual leadership, then it follows that there is a such thing as unspiritual leadership. So how can I say everything is spiritual, when apparently it is not? Then, (using Bell's logic of everything being spiritual because there is no Hebrew word for spiritual - thus everything is spiritual) possibly, can it not be true that nothing is spiritual? I can't believe that, though, because then God would be a liar. As a point of note, apparently Bell has merely borrowed a phrase that Schaffaer used before him, and explained a little more cartesianly.

Anyways, I am beginning to sound like a Nate rant when he has overdosed on

So, I am living in this tension of everything being spiritual but assuredly old-school (read: reductionism) Sanders says, apparently, that it isn't. I have a hypothesis - maybe everything is spiritual, but sin rips the spiritual out of things. And then, the regeneration/renewal/salvation of all things that Jesus is doing could be described as working the spiritual back into all things.

So here's some quotes contributing to the tension:

> p.18 "True leaders must be willing to suffer for thee sake of objectives great enough to demand their wholehearted obedience."

> p.28 "A true leader influences others spiritually only because the Spirit works in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads."
So, then, why? Doesn't this mean a pastor cannot spiritually lead those who are more spiritual? Isn't there a problem in this somewhere when we have 26 year olds graduating seminary and pastoring people who have been following God for fifty years?

> p.32 "Spiritual goals can be achieved only by spiritual people who use spiritual methods."

>p.53 on young leadership, "...pray while others daydream..."

>p.75 "Any position of leadership involves a considerable amount of correspondence, and letters are self-revealing"
I ripped on this section in a staff meeting - it's all about how writing letters is so important. Hello?? email!! Anyways...

>p.85 "The spiritual leader should outpace the rest of the church, above all, in prayer."

>p.87 "Jesus performed miracles without a sign of outward strain, by 'he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears" (quoting Hebrews 5:7)

p.157 "Many influential Christians have fallen before this temptation [indispensability]. It seems that Christians are especially prone to it. They cling to authority long after it should have passed to younger people."
I think this is going to be a trying point for much of the modern/baby boomer leadership in existence today. Even more so because of a lack of understanding and suspicion that leads to a dismissal of postmodernity.

Good stuff. I wouldn't have read this book if I hadn't been told to, but if I only ever did what I wanted I would only grow in some areas. This book helped to balance me and see through some biases that I had been reading in other texts.

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