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In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  5,693 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
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
Paperback, 120 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published 1989)
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Austin Mcgrath
May 20, 2016 Austin Mcgrath rated it it was ok
I had to read this for a group in my church, There are some biblical truths in this book, however nothing new or unordinary. In this book he makes some cringy/questionable statements like "we have to be mystics" "we have to be the incarnation" and abandons some definitions of words similar to Rob Bell. Like bad definition of what a mystic actually is or what theology is. He also claims theologians find it hard to pray. If you want an excellent book on Christian leadership I would not recommend t ...more
Mark Stevens
Jul 20, 2012 Mark Stevens rated it it was amazing
The single greatest book on leadership I have ever read!
Pablo Palet Araneda
Ante las tres tentaciones de sentirse importante, ser espectacular y tener poder, Jesús pregunta "¿me amas?", entrega la tarea de "apacentar las ovejas", y el desafío de que "otro te conducirá. Sólo la práctica de la oración contemplativa, la confesión y el perdón, y la reflexión teológica hacen creíble al lider cristiano del siglo XXI.

Me llamó la atención sobretodo el entender el liderazgo no como el pastor que guía las ovejas, sino como el que sirve al rebaño haciéndose parte de él, vulnerable
Feb 24, 2016 James rated it it was amazing
Through the lens of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, and his commissioning of Peter at the end of John's gospel, Nouwen sets a trajectory for Christian leadership. He wrote this book after leaving academia for L'Arche and one of the best parts of the book is his description of how Bill, a developmentally disabled man, shared in Nouwen's ministry in presenting this material in Washington, D.C.

Nouwen questions contemporary leadership culture and the chasing of relevance, popularity and power.
Sep 27, 2015 Natalie rated it really liked it
A short but incisive read, Henri Nouwen calls to account those currently in or striving towards Christian leadership today. Using the Gospel stories of the temptations of Jesus and Peter's call to be a shepherd as his reference points, Nouwen points out that Christian leaders are constantly tempted to be relevant, popular and powerful. To act alone, and be seen as "the hero." However, Nouwen emphasizes that to truly act in the name of Jesus requires almost the opposite: being ready to stand amid ...more
Bill Russell
Fr. Nouwen is masterful. He presents a version of Christian faith that is very different than the evangelical American brand I learned. It is rich and true to Jesus. His advice for leaders in this century is profound. The only slight thing that bothered me was the notion that Nouwen was sacrificing much by living among the profoundly disabled. The rewards of such a leading always outweighs the cost.
Dennis Henn
Jul 21, 2015 Dennis Henn rated it liked it
"My movement from Harvard to L'Arche made me aware in a new way how much my thinking about Christian leadership had been affected by the desire to be relevant, the desire for popularity, and the desire for power." Nouwen reflects on the three desert temptations of Jesus as he considers his own temptations. In this short book he explores what it means to be in community, confessing our sins, sharing our brokenness, invested in contemplative prayer that we might proclaim and share in the love of J ...more
Christopher M.
I really did enjoy this book, and I believe some of the insights were real jewels. However, I had little to no background on Nouwen before reading this book. For that reason, I was a little fuzzy on what he meant in some of his terminology. I was also left a little unsure why the exhortations were directed specifically at Christian leaders, unless by "leadership" he means something much more broad than I do. Most of his (generally very biblical) insights could be applied to any disciple of Chris ...more
Jim B
May 01, 2013 Jim B rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, nonfiction
This is just a brief (one hour) reflection written because Nouwen was asked to speak about Christian leadership "in the Twenty-First Century."

It's a puzzling assignment given to a priest who lived in a community of people with disabilities for the last decade of his life (he got the assignment about year 3 of that decade).

I related to the author because the book is about caring for people over other agendas, and it is focused on Jesus, using the two stories of the temptation of Christ and Jesus
Jay Hawes
Jun 18, 2014 Jay Hawes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Nouwen's writing is so powerful! Humility just drips from every word. He desires, more than anything, that Jesus would be more so he could become less. I was so impressed with this little book on leadership.

He challenges the reader:

1. Do you want to be relevant? Pray more.

The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God's love. (30)

2. Do you want
Mike Jorgensen
Sep 07, 2016 Mike Jorgensen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, leadership
I read this for a course and admittedly against my will. It starts off a little slow, but there were multiple points throughout the book where I had to stop and admire his ability to articulate things I've always thought, point out things I'd never see, and challenge me in ways I hadn't expected.
Linda Parker
Aug 30, 2014 Linda Parker rated it really liked it
Appreciated his reflections and notes on servant leadership
Aug 13, 2014 Kevin rated it really liked it
I heard about this book in a sermon, so I thought I’d read it. It’s a very short book, and is essentially the text of a speech that Henri Nouwen gave. He recounts his transition to a home for mentally handicapped individuals from a life of academia and lecturing, and the struggles he had as he made that transition.
“Too often I looked at being relevant, popular, and powerful as ingredients of an effective ministry. The truth, however, is that these are not vocations, but temptations.” (71) Nouwen
Jul 08, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it

In the Name of Jesus is very different most of the books about Christian leadership that are popular right now. In many ways it's actually probably the opposite of them. In the Name of Jesus explores the three temptations that Jesus faced when he was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness: to be relevant, to be spectacular, and to be powerful. The interesting thing is that these three temptations that Jesus avoided have become the model for “good” ministry in many contexts. In conjunction w
May 14, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good short little book about servant leadership.

Read for CCC
Sep 27, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
Loved it as a succinct and true treatise on Christian Leadership. A whole bunch of books have been written about "servant leadership," and many of them have been given to me over the years. Now I know where the other books were drawing inspiration. This one doesn't say too much or too little, and the incorporation of Nouwen's personal stories make it authentic and memorable.
Mar 11, 2007 John rated it it was amazing
usually when authors say things like, "there's two kinds of people in this world," or "this is a battle of two opposites," they're saying everything and nothing at the same time. not so with this book: nouwen has some sincere struggles that he's identified and lights the path towards christ-likeness. a quick but profound read with lessons that will stay with you.
Oct 21, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it
This was a good reflection on the counter-intuitive, counter-cultural nature of Christian leadership. While our culture prizes competence, relevance, prestige and power, the Christian priorities should be love and prayer with humility.
Not a terribly profound message, but very important one.
Julia Smith-brake
Sep 11, 2014 Julia Smith-brake rated it it was amazing
A wonderful short book that is so inspiring, as Nouwen always is. The essence of the book is summed up in one sentence, “I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self.” (p. 17)
Jun 14, 2010 Brittany rated it it was ok
This was actually not so bad to read-even for a non-Christian. I gave this only two stars, however, because I didn't think that any of the ideas were original. It just sounded like Nouwen took things that I've heard preached at my school and put them into prettier words.
Jeromy Peacock
5 stars = Yearly re-read
4 stars = Re-read eventually
3 stars = Very Good
2 stars = OK
1 stars = Pass on this one.
0 stars = Couldn't finish it.
Mar 25, 2014 John rated it it was amazing
This is one of those deceptively thin volumes which is surprisingly dense and rich. Nouwen addresses himself to the question: How do we lead? This is not a nut-and-bolts "how to" manual, but more of a theological manifesto aimed at directing the reader away from the dead ends, excesses, and common traps which confront anyone in the position of leading a ministry. Taking as his central image that of an open-handed leader who is willing to be led into "downward mobility," he urges the reader towar ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Suesue rated it it was amazing
Life changing, the most influential book (outside the Bible) I have ever read and may ever read.
Oct 24, 2011 Charity rated it it was ok
Nouwen is an influential writer-and deeply affects many-but we don't connect.
Jun 14, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Really good!
Jun 15, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This is the third time I've read Nouwen's, "In the Name of Jesus", and I'm more impressed than ever by the spiritual insights on leadership offered within. Despite my reformed, gospel-centered bent I really see great value in Nouwen's treatise of the temptations of our Lord Jesus in the wilderness, and the applications these offer to all who would seek to lead others like the Master did.

The book is divided into three short sections labelled: I. from relevance to prayer; II. from popularity to mi
Jul 30, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
This is definitely the best book on Christian leadership that I've yet read. To be fair and honest up front: usually I dislike all books on leadership but even more so those about Christian leadership. The fact that I not only didn't despise this book, but I actually really loved it should say something about how different it is than most books on the same topic.

This is what made it different: it focused on Jesus and the Gospel. What else could make leadership distinctive in a Christian context
Aug 25, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership, nouwen
The central question facing Christian leaders today, I think, is: Are we going to be led? Nouwen rightly points out that the cure to the temptation to relevance is mysticism. The Christian leader must be a mystic rooted in the reality of the living Christ to navigate the waters infested with sharks of ego, power, efficiency and world-success.

The central question for me as I face leadership in the coming future is how can I lead people into a desire for the mystic reality of Christ in the intimac
Seth Comfort
Jan 10, 2011 Seth Comfort rated it it was amazing
I read the book In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen. I really enjoyed this book, it was a short and quick read but full of wisdom regarding Christian leadership.
He starts off the book by unpacking a big change in his own life. After 20 years in the academic world as a teacher of pastoral psychology, theology and Christian spirituality, he began to experience deep inner longer for a change. He explains that he was living in a very dark place feeling burned out, a convenient psychological transl
Jeff Elliott
Feb 21, 2012 Jeff Elliott rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership, ministry
I read this book in about 40 minutes. I have heard often about Nouwen's writings. This is the first I have read. There is some deep truth in the pages which I wish he could have developed more. Several of the truths I have already learned and agree with. I would have like to have a little more application for some of them.

Favorite quotes from this book:
I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to o
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Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen (Nouen), (1932–1996) was a Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books on the spiritual life.

Nouwen's books are widely read today by Protestants and Catholics alike. The Wounded Healer, In the Name of Jesus, Clowning in Rome, The Life of the Beloved, and The Way of the Heart are just a few of the more widely recognized titles. After nearly two decades of
More about Henri J.M. Nouwen...

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“The leaders of the future will be those who dare to claim their irrelevance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation...” 33 likes
“The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self.” 15 likes
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