The task of the Christian leader is to bring out the best in man and to lead him forward to a more human community; the danger is that his skilful diagnostic eye will become more an eye for distant and detailed analysis than the eye of compassionate partner. And if priests and ministers of tomorrow think that more skill training is the solution for the problem of Christian leadership for the future generation, they may end up being more frustrated and disappointed than the leaders of today. More training and structure are just as necessary as more bread for the hungry. But just as bread given without love can bring war instead of peace, professionalism without compassion will turn forgiveness into a gimmick and the kingdom to come into a blindfold. (page 42)
Many will put their trust in him who went all the way, out of concern for just one of them. The remark “He really cares for us” is often illustrated by stories which show that forgetting the many for the one is a sign of true leadership. (page 73)
All this suggests that when one has the courage to enter where life is experienced as most unique and most private, one touches the soul of the community. The man who has spent many hours trying to understand, feel, and clarify the alienation and confusion of one of his fellow men might well be the best equipped to speak to the needs of the many, because all men are one at the wellspring of pain and joy. (page 73)
I have—found that the very feeling which has seemed to me most private, most personal and hence most incomprehensible to others, has turned out to be an expression for which there is a resonance in many other people. It has led me to believe that what is most personal and unique in each one of us is probably the very element which would, if it were shared or expressed, speak most deeply to others. This has helped me to understand artists and poets who have dared to express the unique in themselves. – Carol Rogers on page 74.
A Christian leader is not a leader because he announces a new idea and tries to convince the others of its worth; he is a leader because he faces the world with eyes full of expectation, with the expertise to take away the veil that covers its hidden potential. Christian leadership is called ministry precisely to express that in the service of others new life can be brought about. It is this service which gives eyes to see the flower breaking through the cracks in the street, ears to hear a word of forgiveness muted by hatred and hostility, and hands to feel a new life under the cover of death and destruction. (page 75)
Many ministers, priests and Christian laymen have become disillusioned, bitter and even hostile when years of hard work bear no fruit, when little change is accomplished. Building a vocation on the expectations of concrete results, however conceived, is like building a house on sand instead of on solid rock, and even takes away the ability to accept successes as free gifts. (page 77)
Hope prevents us clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory. This might sound romantic, but when a man enters which his fellow man into his fear of death and is able to wait for him right there, “leaving the safe place” might turn out to be a very difficult act of leadership. It is an act of discipleship in which we follow the hard road of Christ, who entered death with nothing but bare hope. (page 77)