Friday, April 16, 2010

lesslie newbigin on ministry and leadership (john 21)

"The minister's leadership of the congregation in its mission to the world will be first and foremost in the area of his or her own discipleship, in that life of prayer and daily consecration which remains hidden from the world but which is the place where the essential battles are either won or lost. I find warrant for this way of seeing ministry in the final chapter of St. John's Gospel, where--in the person of Peter--we have given to us a picture of apostolic leadership in the Church. Peter is first presented to us as an evangelist. He is a fisherman, who, however, catches nothing until he submits the Master's instruction. When he does so, there is a mighty catch which be brings, with the net intact and as the fruit of his work, one undivided harvest, to the feet of Jesus. Then the image changes and Peter is a pastor to whom Jesus entrusts his flock. He can so entrust it because Peter loves him more than all. But then, finally, the image changes again. Peter is a disciple who must go the way the Master went, the way of the cross. He is not to look around to see who is following. He is to look one way only--to the Master who goes before him. Ministerial leadership is, first and finally, discipleship."

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, pages 240-241.


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