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In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership [Paperback]

Henri J. M. Nouwen
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1992
Henri Nouwen was a spiritual thinker with an unusual capacity to write about the life of Jesus and the love of God in ways that have inspired countless people to trust life more fully. Most widely read among the over 40 books Father Nouwen wrote is In the Name of Jesus. For a society that measures successful leadership in terms of the effectiveness of the individual, Father Nouwen offers a counter definition that is witnessed by a "communal and mutual experience." For Nouwen, leadership cannot function apart from the community. His wisdom is grounded in the foundation that we are a people "called." This beautiful guide to Christian Leadership is the rich fruit of Henri Nouwen's own journey as one of the most influential spirtiual leaders of the 20th century.

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In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership + Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading + Upside Down: The Paradox of Servant Leadership
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"There is more packed between the covers of this little book that adults will find helpful to living a Christian life than you’ll find in many volumes three times its size."  —Our Sunday Visitor

From AudioFile

The late Dutch priest and author taught at Notre Dame, Harvard, and Yale before being called to lead a community for mentally handicapped people called L'Arche Daybreak. Moving from academia to raw emotional communion with the intellectually impaired taught him lessons he couldn't otherwise learn. He tells us that followers of Jesus are often lured by power into a style of leadership that is decidedly not God-like. "It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life." All Christians should hear this heartfelt, gently narrated memoir, a wonderful collection of reflections. T.W. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, Simple, and Absolutely Revolutionary July 25 2001
By Ryan
If you applied Evelyn Wood's technique to this book, you could finish it in 10 minutes... and you would probably gain nothing from it. This is a book to take your time with, think about, and come back to.
Nouwen was asked to speak at a conference about "Leadership in the 21st Century" and this book is the text of that speech.
The book tells the story of Nouwen's journey from lofty chaplain and teaching positions at Harvard, Notre Dame, and Yale to a "lowly" position as the Pastor at a community for the mentally handicapped. He uses this experience to outline a radical paradigm for 'leadership' characterized not by ambition and 'upward mobility', but by humility, vulnerability, and servanthood.
The book is a simple one, but the concepts are truly revolutionary and counter-cultural. This book deserves some real attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very short, but very good July 6 2001
I read this book in an hour, but that one hour of reading produced many more hours of personal thought and reflection about what it means to be a leader in ministry who truly reflects (albeit imperfectly) the Savior we serve.
Nouwen is addressing this book to 'priests and ministers' but I think many of the principles he discusses are very applicable to almost anyone who wants to serve God in ministry, even in non leadership capacities. I was particularly struck by what I thought was a critical point he made when he discussed how those of us who serve in ministry can often get sidetracked and distracted in our work for God when we begin to equate our service with our own glory and not God's. He talks about how people are susceptible to impure motives when serving God, and this is a very critical point. While he doesn't explore this in as much detail as I might have liked, the message is clear. As leaders in ministry, we will regularly encounter and serve people who are in tough situations. And while it's a wonderful thing to minister to those who are hurting in one form or another, we need to realize that this is a position of tremendous responsibility. Having this responsibility can tempt people into coveting power or influence, which can lead to any number of abuses once our motives for service are not pure. All the more reason to enter into Christian leadership with the right motives and a heart that is right with God. Nouwen did not explore this in great detail, but he does explore it within the context of being an effective leader for God who has joy in their service and whom God uses to the fullest for the benefit of those we serve.
Because of its shortness, it is far from a comprehensive look at honorable Christian leadership.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid and Concise March 19 2001
This book is not just for formal Christian leaders, but for anyone who wants to be focused on what is really important in the Christian life. It is really short, and you could definitely read it in less than 2 hours (probably closer to 1 hour). But it will remind you of what being Christian is all about--being genuine and vulnerable, and loving others through that vulnerability. It is a beautiful picture of leadership, and about how as a leader we can be set free to be ourselves and enjoy God and love others. In a lot of ways, Nouwen shows how the most effective leadership is very simple and has been done for a couple thousand years. It's about emptying ourselves, taking up our cross, and sharing that journey with those in our care. This book is well worth the short amount of time it will take to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 81 Pages and 81 Years Worth of Wisdom Oct. 9 2001
Nouwen packs so much wisdom into so little space. These aren't cerebral facts, these are life-altering, heart-changing ideas. These are words to fuel a revolution.
Essentially, in his simple and loving manner, Nouwen tells us that we've got it all wrong and that we need to get back to the basics. "Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead." This quote by Nouwen not only hits the nail on the head, it pinpoints the problem of serving God in an official capacity. Many have insulated themselves from relationships, often under the impression that they must show only their good side as a minister of the gospel; thus they wrestle alone with the sins of the flesh.
This short book attempts to refocus leaders' eyes on the basics...and the basics, as viewed here in poignant and startling clarity, take a lifetime to learn. Nouwen manages to make this all seem not only possible, but desirable. Not only helpful, but necessary. Each time my mind began to get in the way, his words brought me back to the responses of the heart.
To start and finish this book, Nouwen tells us about his mentally-handicapped friend Bill. By tucking his message between the very real love and efforts of his own life, Nouwen punctuates his words and shows us that they can, indeed, impact our own lives.
Even if it takes me 81 years to get it all figured out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good little book for Christian leaders Dec 11 2002
Another five star book that's less than 125 pages: between this, "I Had Seen Castles," and "Life Together," I'm beginning to really appreciate the shorter books.
The author of this book comes from an intersting background: he is a highly educated priest in the Catholic church, served on influential boards, and became a professor at Harvard University. Then, he gave it up and took a job working among mentally handicapped people in Canada. This book, a speech in its original form, is part Nouwen's process of adjusting to his new life and part a chronicle of lessons he's learned working among the developmentally disabled.
This book is primarily speaking to Christian pastors, emphasizing the need to "get back to the basics" of faith, especially not letting yourself get caught in the trap of thinking too highly of your own importance. However, it is an excellent read for pleasure as well. I would highly recommend it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
delivered on time with good quality. Henri inspired me.
Published 3 months ago by Lenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but so sweet
Do not be fooled by this book's size, it packs a powerful punch. As a young minister still trying to figure out which details to focus on, and which to ignore, this book could not... Read more
Published on July 10 2009 by Young Pastor
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Little Book By Henri Nouwen
In this small book (81 pages) Nouwen tackles three temptations faced, but too often not acknowledged, by Christian leadership:
1. the temptation to be relevant.
2. Read more
Published on April 8 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Transforming and Profound
In Nouwen's work during his time at Daybreak community in Toronto, he reflects on Christian leadership and what it takes to lose oneself in downward mobility, the way of the cross. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by TKP
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a pamphlet, really.
This book is a transcription of a speech Father Henri gave on Christian Leadership in the 21st century several years ago. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2001 by William Krischke
5.0 out of 5 stars Super book!
I first read this book in college with my fellow resident assistants. I've also read it many times since then. "In the Name of Jesus" is short and challenging. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2001 by Marc
5.0 out of 5 stars In the daily life of Jesus
Nouwen invites us into the daily life of Jesus through his reflections upon the three temptations of Christ and his call to three disciplines of the spiritual life. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2000 by David Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars An elegant, soulful, and helpful book
I read this book with my wife this past weekend and we found the book full of times to ponder and discuss what Nouwen says and means. Read more
Published on May 24 2000 by Daniel Felmlee
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