Book Reflection: Ducking Spears, Dancing Madly

Category: By Christian

Regardless of what I thought of Ducking, I was guaranteed to get my money's worth. I bought it a couple of years back for 90% off when my seminary's bookstore was having it's end of the year clearance sale, so I hardly had anything invested in it. I actually didn't know anything about the book or it's authors, but it had an intriguing enough title and focused on one of my favorite parts of the bible. I make sure to read closely the narratives about David and Saul every so often because they are a helpful portrait of both beneficial and malevolent leadership qualities.

Having made it through the book rather quickly, I have to say that I enjoyed it enough to not put it down very often. I cannot recommend it more highly to anybody who is in church leadership or who is contemplating an entry into church leadership. Far from a how-to book that casts broad visions and vivid dreams, Ducking instead focuses on dealing with many of the pitfalls of church leadership while at the same time instilling a strong sense of responsibility and the providence of God in concern to leadership roles. There is a strong focus on how the inner-life of the leader has a lot to do with how well the leader is able to do things in a way that God would call us to do them. Not necessarily in ways that will help everyone grow huge churches or become famous preachers, but in ways that cultivate wholeness for self and for community. It was so applicable that I used it in my devotional times every day, but it would also be a good resource in a seminary classroom or as a discussion piece for church staff.

More than any other book that I have read on church leadership, Ducking gives an accurate portrayal of the ups and downs of ministry. While there are only 10 chapters in the book, I'm just about sure there is at least one that would speak poignantly to anyone's heart. In fact, if you are not in a position of church leadership this would be a great book to pick up to help you understand a little bit about the tension between the personal, family, emotional and official dynamics that tend to cause leaders issues at some point in their ministry.

And that's really the issue behind the issue, present company included. It sucks to deal with all of the issues in life because congregations expect perfection. That expectation causes people to do crazy things as they become a scary combination of driven and dysfunctional with a veneer of invincibility to cover up any insecurities.

I find some of the same problems in medicine. You take a bunch of highly intelligent and highly driven people and then you put them through the most rigorous training possible. When they graduate, they have the opportunity to go into a field where they are highly respected but where they have absolutely zero room for error. Is it any surprise that doctors can be as motley a bunch as ministers at times? Good thing we have one of each at my house. Ha!

Fair Dinkum

0 comments so far.

Something to say?