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Intuitive Leadership: Embracing a Paradigm of Narrative, Metaphor, and Chaos (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) Paperback – October 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

EXCERPT FROM CATALOG We live in the midst of an emerging postmodern milieu. This is a new world that seeks to bring the heart and soul and body back into contact and balance with a modern mind that is not just dangerously enlarged but nearly detached. Out of this environment a different imagination is starting to emerge. As it does, a new language set is developing that is artistic, intuitive, prophetic, and poetic. This language set and the new kinds of competencies that are beginning to assert themselves in response to this environment are doing so not in terms defined by the categories and structures of the former world (modernity) but in ways that are new--and, in many cases, ancient. When the time comes for God to do something new within a culture that has grown stagnant or unresponsive to his movement, God often moves from the margins of that culture. We see this kind of shift illustrated in the narratives of Scripture where more often than not the margins are symbolized by the woman and the child: Moses and his mother, Ruth and Obed, Hannah and Samuel, Mary and Jesus. Because systems and structures rarely surrender their power, the woman and the child are often vulnerable and endangered. They seem insignificant, even bothersome or contemptible, and yet wiser men than I sensed a change in their world two thousand years ago. Rather than sit ensconced within their controlled worlds, they set off to find the source of this change: a babe lying in a manger, on the margins of society. New wineskins emerge to make space for what is happening as the old often burst, unable to contain what is fresh and new. New systems and structures must emerge to release the kind of imagination and creative thinking I have been describing.

From the Back Cover

The world is changing. To make an impact today, churches need to discover new ways of leading that embrace intuition, creativity, narrative, and the chaos and tension of our time. Tim Keel offers a theologically grounded, thoughtful, and practical exploration of how intuitive leadership can help the local church embrace contemporary opportunities and challenges. This important contribution to the emergent church discussion will help you find the freedom to explore the possibilities and empower your church for our postmodern world. "Tim Keel writes with the eye of an artist, the heart of a pastor, the mind of a philosopher, and the hope of a visionary. His intuitions will inspire your own, and his voice will add so much to the conversation about what is emerging in our lives, churches, and world."--Brian McLaren, author, speaker ( "Tim Keel has written a fascinating and engaging book that will quickly become both a starting point and a standard bearer for thinking about leadership in the emerging church."--John R. Franke, professor of theology, Biblical Seminary "Deeply personal and human in its approach, Intuitive Leadership both charms the mind and informs the heart. The result is a wise and gentle tracing of the contours of postmodernism that is as healing as it is liberating."--Phyllis Tickle, contributing editor in religion, Publishers Weekly "Read Tim Keel's book. Let it invite you to connect with your stories, the markers along the road that have been shaping you so far. Let it permit you to give voice to your questions."--from the foreword by Alan J. Roxburgh, vice president, Allelon Canada Tim Keel is the founding pastor of Jacob's Well, a growing church in Kansas City, Missouri, and serves on the board of directors for Emergent Village. He is passionate about creating spaces for people to connect to God, themselves, others, and the surrounding world.

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Product Details

  • Series: emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801068134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801068133
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Samoff on December 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I read a book that I couldn't put down... And the book was most likely a work of fiction. But this one is most certainly real stuff, as non-fiction as you can get. And even though I'm not a church leader, per se, something about Intuitive Leadership - Embracing a Paradigm of Narrative, Metaphor & Chaos, the latest literary endeavor by Jacob's Well Church pastor and Emergent Village co-founder, Tim Keel drew me in, bound my imagination, and wouldn't let me go until I turned the last page. Keel's experience, not only as a pastor and teacher, but as an artist, allowed him to effortlessly create a dialog that is as flowing and natural as it is compelling. This is a narrative that was forged as much by limber fingers dancing lightly (and sometimes very heavily) on the keyboard of a laptop computer as it was by dipping brush after brush into a multitude of jars of pigment. Keel's words leapt off of each page as if he were sitting right in front of me, narrating the very text that I was reading.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David Frisbie on November 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
How do we serve each other in such a broken world?
How do we "live Jesus" in the midst of so much suffering, uncertainty, and confusion?

Like a good friend who's spent some time further up the trail, Tim Keel shows us what intuitive leadership looks like, helping pastors and other leaders (and the rest of us) understand how to grow communities of faith.

There's a lot of insight here about our own heritage and how it sometimes prevents the very ministry we're trying to achieve. Well worth reading!

Meanwhile, in a world increasingly shaped by story-telling and metaphor, Keel shows us how to embrace meaning, deploy justice, and live faith.

Dr. David Frisbie
The Center for Marriage & Family Studies
Author of Raising Great Kids on Your Own: A Guide and Companion for Every Single Parent
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Oestreicher on May 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
wow. tim keel has written a leadership book that, well, isn't like others. i suppose i could put it in the same kind of category -- roughly -- as max depree's books (leadership jazz, and leadership is an art), in that tim doesn't prescribe a method, or give 5 or 10 or 21 irrefutable laws. instead, he brings his artist's perspective to the role of the leader, spending the biggest portion of his page real estate talking about cultural discernment.

killer stuff, really. when tim suggests, in the subtitle, that the kind of leadership we should embrace is one of narrative, metaphor and chaos... well, let's just say he clearly lives these three words out on the pages of this exceptional book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Walden on November 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Tim delivers a clear, well-researched, crisply written articulation of the changing landscape our environment and how it relates to engaging with God in our time. It is a very personal story which provides great insight to his church, Jacob's Well. This is a great read for anyone interested in learning more about how modern Church history has shaped a lot of our understanding of the gospel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew D. Hansen on April 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read, and a must own! I am NOT an emergent village participant, and have NO plans on being one. I am a church planter, however, and this book has it! It is amazing, even if you are not an emergent follower, EVERY pastor should have this book of leadership in their library, and they should reference it often!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Briggs on September 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
AUTHOR: "I am a full-on mutt" writes Keel of himself. The product of mixed spiritual heritage (Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical Presbyterian, Benedictines), Keel recognizes the deep influences these (and other) "deeply and widely different streams of the Christian tradition" have had on his spiritual formation. Keel serves as the founding pastor of Jacob's Well, and serves on the Board of Emergent Village. Keel's writings resonate with a Hauerwasian flavor, reflecting his early fascination with narratives of all kinds. He seeks to illustrate rather than explicate, and seems at ease with the chaotic currents of post-modernity.

THESIS OF THE BOOK: There are no leadership silver bullets. Today's effective leader will influence followers in the context of narratives (biblical, national, ethnic, familial, individual, etc.), embracing the tensions of intuition, creativity, and chaos to follow the Holy Spirit wherever He leads.

PART 1 ("Entering Story") uses stories to demonstrate the validity and need for a narrative paradigm. Keel paints a succinct history of the enlightenment, modernity and post-modernity, asserting that even the assertion that we have no story is really a story. Narrating his story and that of Jacob's Well, Keel asserts that we have "failed to engage God, ourselves, and our world faithfully for the sake of the gospel" by failing to live a truthful narrative.

PART 2 ("Engaging Context") explores the radical engagements of faithful, communal discipleship: the contextual, theological and structural aspects of using intuition, creativity and chaos. Using another's approach can leech God from ministry. Instead we must follow God's lead.
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