Leadership within the redeemed community


Stanley Hauerwas on leadership within the Church:

“‘People called to administrative positions have to undergo a deep ascetical discipline. You’re dealing with people who have possibilities and limits, the limits sometimes will drive you crazy, and you cannot take it personally.

…You do this to provide space for the different gifts of the community. I’m very Pauline in this. Communities have diversities of gifts. Part of your responsibility as an administrator and leader is to help members of the community own them as contributing to the overall good of the community. To be in a position of power means that you recognize how fragile the power is. You wouldn’t have it otherwise. And you have enough confidence that you don’t have to win all the time. That’s a real ascetic discipline, a discipline of the ego, which is absolutely crucial for being an administrator and to allow the institution to go on once you’re no longer there…

… For any person that wants to be in leadership, if they try to lead in a way that means they don’t have to deal with people, they automatically defeat community. It is everyday interactions that make it possible for there to be people who tell the truth to us one at a time in the hopes that in that process we will be a truthful community…’”

From here.

Thanks to Sam Norton for the pointer.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. Kirk Smith says

    Excellent article Nick. We might us it for our COM aspirants.

  2. I was thinking along the same lines. Perhaps this will help them understand what is happening to them in the process and why learning to deal with frustration in a healthy way is such an important step.

  3. Jared says

    Found this blog a few weeks ago. Just writing to say how much I’m enjoying it.

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