Henri Nouwen on leaders and listening prayer

‘It is not enough for the leaders of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow human beings, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of the their time.  All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership.  The central question is,

‘Are the leaders of the future truly women and men of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God’s presence, to listen to God’s voice, to look at God’s beauty, to touch God’s incarnate word and to taste fully God’s goodness?’

‘Christian leaders cannot simply be persons who have well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time.  Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus and they need to find there the source for their words, advice and guidance.  Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen again and again to the voice of love and to find there the wisdom and courage to address whatever issue presents itself to them.’

Henri Nouwen, “In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership” 31-32.

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