Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

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Overview

"I just want to enjoy God for myself." With this painful admission, Ruth Haley Barton invites us to an honest exploration of what happens when spiritual leaders lose track of their souls. Weaving together contemporary illustrations with penetrating insight from the life of Moses, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership explores topics such as: responding to the dynamics of calling, facing the loneliness of leadership, leading from your authentic self, cultivating spiritual community, reenvisioning the promised land, discerning God's will
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Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

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Overview

"I just want to enjoy God for myself." With this painful admission, Ruth Haley Barton invites us to an honest exploration of what happens when spiritual leaders lose track of their souls. Weaving together contemporary illustrations with penetrating insight from the life of Moses, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership explores topics such as: responding to the dynamics of calling, facing the loneliness of leadership, leading from your authentic self, cultivating spiritual community, reenvisioning the promised land, discerning God's will together.

Each chapter includes a spiritual practice to ensure your soul gets the nourishment it needs. Forging and maintaining a life-giving connection with God is the best choice you can make for yourself and for those you lead.

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Editorial Reviews

Leighton Ford
"[This] book has become for me a companion on the way. . . . The author's style is warm and accessible. I like her insights into the inner life of the leader. . . . I am deeply grateful for the helpful practices she describes and recommends. But what draws me even more is that Ruth writes with realness and integrity out of her own intimate experience of the inner journey of a leader. . . . Reading this book will surely help you to be attentive to the God who is the strength of your soul, and the heart of your leadership."
From the foreword by Leighton Ford
"[This] book has become for me a companion on the way. . . . The author's style is warm and accessible. I like her insights into the inner life of the leader. . . . I am deeply grateful for the helpful practices she describes and recommends. But what draws me even more is that Ruth writes with realness and integrity out of her own intimate experience of the inner journey of a leader. . . . Reading this book will surely help you to be attentive to the God who is the strength of your soul, and the heart of your leadership."
Mark Buchanan
"For those of us who lead, there are many fine books to hone our skills. But too few excavate our souls. Too few tell us stark truths, and serve up strong tonic, and give us hope and courage in the face of our calling's hardships and loneliness and moments of sheer tedium. Too few teach us how to seek and find God in the maze of committee work and the darkness of criticism and the heartbreak of betrayal. This book does all that, and well. Ruth Haley Barton has kept company with Moses, a 'pragmatic' and 'visionary' leader who found that, unless God went with him, there was no place worth going. Ruth's insights will at the very least strengthen the soul of your leadership. For some, it may make the difference in whether you finish the race at all."
Glandion W. Carney
"In the same spirit in which Henri Nouwen wrote The Return of the Prodigal Son, Ruth Haley Barton has captured the soul of Moses and has revealed him to us as a seeker of truth, wisdom and vulnerability."
N. Gordon Cosby
"A weary, waiting world cries out for God-shaped leaders who would serve more than be served, who would find power by laying down power, who would lose their lives for others. In her reflections on the life of Moses, God's radically human and holy friend, Ruth Haley Barton has given us not only a portrait of what sacrificial and redemptive leadership looks like, but has provided practice for getting there. This is a book to read alone and together. It will encourage and empower us to seek God more deeply, to listen for and embody our innate callings, to stay faithful to our solitary and even lonely journeys in community, and to love God for the long haul."
Gary Haugen
"In a landscape littered with leadership books that tinker at the margins of what really matters, Ruth Haley Barton offers us practical guidance to the core of life-changing leadership: spiritual authenticity and health. Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership lays bare the ancient truth that great leadership comes from the inside out, and provides a helpful road map for examining and seeking God's transformation of that largely unexamined inner core from which true leadership proceeds. This is a powerful resource for me and my own leadership team."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830835133
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 6/6/2008
  • Series: The Transforming Center Set
  • Pages: 231
  • Sales rank: 174,857
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Haley Barton (DD, Northern Seminary) is founding president of the Transforming Center, a spiritual formation ministry to pastors and Christian leaders. A trained spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), teacher and retreat leader, she has served on the pastoral staff of several churches, including Willow Creek Community Church. A sought-after teacher, preacher and consultant to leadership teams, she is currently adjunct professor of spiritual transformation at Northern Seminary.

Educated at Wheaton College, Northern Seminary and Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies, Ruth is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life, including Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Sacred Rhythms, Longing for More and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. She is also the author of an online resource titled eReflections, spiritual guidance via e-mail. She contributes regularly to Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation.

Leighton Ford is President of Leighton Ford Ministries, which seeks to help young leaders worldwide to lead more like Jesus and more to Jesus. For many years, Ford communicated Christ around the globe through speaking, writing and media outreach, addressing millions of people in thirty-seven countries on every continent. He served from 1955 until 1985 as Associate Evangelist and later Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and was featured as the alternate speaker to Billy Graham on the Hour of Decision broadcast.

Ford describes his current mission to be "an artist of the soul and a friend on the journey." He served for nearly twenty years as chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, an international body of Christian leaders. He chairs the Sandy Ford Fund and has served as a board member for World Vision U. S., the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He received the 1990 Two Hungers Award, recognizing his contributions to addressing the physical and spiritual hungers of people around the world. In 1985 he was selected as Clergyman of the Year by Religious Heritage of America and TIME Magazine singled him out as being "among the most influential preachers of an active gospel."

The author or co-author of numerous books, includingTransforming Leadership and The Attentive Life, Ford lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife Jean.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Leighton Ford
Introduction
1. When Leaders Lose 'their Souls
2. What Lies Beneath
3. The Place of Our Own Conversion
4. The Practice of Paying Attention
5. The Conundrum of Calling
6. Guiding Others on the Spiritual Journey
7. Living Within Limits
8. Spiritual Rhythms in the Life of the Leader
9. Leadership as Intercession
10. The Loneliness of Leadership
11. From Isolation to Leadership Community
12. Finding God's Will Together
13. Re-envisioning the Promised Land
Gratitudes
Notes
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    A must read for ministry

    I was required to read this book for a class which is sometimes a god thing and many times a disappointment. This book did not disappoint. The author uses the life of Moses to demonstrate the need for different modes of leadership for different situations and different season of the the life of a church and a pastor. I know as pastors we have a lot we would like to read and it is sometimes hard to choose. This book is worth the investment in time.

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