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In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  6,405 Ratings  ·  324 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, 107 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published 1989)
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Jay Hawes
Dec 26, 2012 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
Kelsey Hansen
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most powerful books I have read! As a period of consistency, and even a little bit of comfort comes to an end, I am realizing more of who I am and who I was created to be. This book helped me connect the dots, and somewhat make sense of how to navigate transitional moments and times. I often forget my call to be vulnerable and to continue to go into spaces that force me to be uncomfortable. As organized ministry may die down, having a heart for knowing Jesus more will not. Jesus is af ...more
Jan 02, 2008 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.
Mark Stevens
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The single greatest book on leadership I have ever read!
Austin Mcgrath
May 20, 2016 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
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
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.
Sep 27, 2013 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.
Mike Jorgensen
Aug 26, 2016 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 rated it really liked it
Appreciated his reflections and notes on servant leadership
Webster Bull
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Henry Nouwen led me to L’Arche, this is one of his “L’Arche books,” I am on a L’Arche retreat, and so I have now read the book in the past day while on retreat.

This is an edited version of a speech Nouwen gave to a group of Catholic clerics after he entered the L’Arche Daybreak community in the mid-1980s. He offers lessons from L’Arche on how to be a better priest—or Christian leader of any kind.

Brilliantly, Nouwen states that today’s priests face the same three temptations Jesus faced in the
Jim B
Apr 26, 2012 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
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
Sep 27, 2015 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
Ben Andrews
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
As usual, Nouwen is concise and brief yet ever-profound, filling his deceptively short chapters with insight that are worth continual thought and reflection long after the book is closed. In this book, Nouwen's wisdom helps us to evaluate the way in which we engage our leadership responsibilities and perceive subtle temptations and obstacles that prevent us from growing. He then offers Biblical insight into ways that we can find spiritual life in our ministry, allowing us (and those we serve) to ...more
Dennis Henn
Jul 21, 2015 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
Mar 05, 2007 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.
Julia Smith-brake
Sep 11, 2014 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)
Apr 17, 2010 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.
Sep 13, 2015 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.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Really good!
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Nouwen is an influential writer-and deeply affects many-but we don't connect.
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 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Life changing, the most influential book (outside the Bible) I have ever read and may ever read.
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good short little book about servant leadership.

Read for CCC
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastoring
Highly recommended by the president of Regent college, this book was not a disappointment. A short, simple manuscript of an address by Henri Nouwen at the Center for Human Development in Washington D.C.
He offers three points - which amount to three corrections of our perception of Christian leadership.
Like Jesus in Matthew 4, leaders of today face three temptations. They must resist them and respond to Jesus's words to Peter in John 21. These involve three disciplines.
1.) Resist relevance, love
Jon Robinson
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's the second time I've read it; the first time was about 12 or 13 years ago. It's a great read. There are a lot of issues regarding Christian leadership that Nouwen doesn't address, wouldn't think to address, or couldn't address given the occasion that framed his lecture or the circumstances in which he normally served.

I think it's best read as an overview of how the general attitude of Christian leadership is given guidance and kept in Christ-centered check. Considering what he set out to d
Tommy Kiedis
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
A must-read text for every leader and every aspiring leader. In The Name of Jesus is on my RY list (Read Yearly). It is a great book made better by Nouwen's experiences. "At the top" of the academic pyramid, Nouwen stepped into serve at the L'Arche Communities. He has lived his admonitions. "My own thinking about Christian leadership had been affected by the desire to be relevant, the desire for popularity, and the desire for powerful as ingredients of an effective ministry. The truth, however, ...more
Jonathan Latshaw
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Overall, I didn't find this book helpful at all, as far as Christian leadership. Although his practical spiritual disciplines (prayer, confession, theological reflection) are helpful for the Christian leader (just as they are helpful for every Christ followers), there were several cringe worthy statements he made.

“Jesus’ first temptation was to be relevant”; “The leaders of the future will be those who dare to claim their irrelevance”; “we have to be mystics”

Furthermore, Nouwen seemed to aband
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A jewel; a must-read for those serving in the name of Christ.

Every time I read a book such as this, one that really seems to explain what we as Christians are supposed to be doing, I think of living in the tension:

Free, but Costly
The Way Up is the Way Down

It's not difficult to understand, it's just hard to do. But, by the grace of God, we get to keep swimming.
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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...” 32 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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