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In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership Paperback – October 1, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is more packed between the covers of this little book that adults will find helpful to living a Christian life than you’ll find in many volumes three times its size."  —Our Sunday Visitor

From the Publisher

A national bestseller for over a decade, now with study guide! In the Name of Jesus is Henri Nouwen's bold, honest, and heartwarming message about Christian leadership.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 107 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company; Reprint edition (October 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824512596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824512590
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Henri Nouwen was born in Holland in 1932 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1957. He obtained his doctorandus in psychology from Nijmegen University in The Netherlands and taught at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard. He experienced the monastic life with Trappist monks at the Abbey of the Genesee, lived among the poor in Latin America with the Maryknoll missioners, and was interested and active in numerous causes related to social justice. After a lifetime of seeking, Henri Nouwen finally found his home in Canada, as pastor of L'Arche Daybreak - where people with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers live together in community.

Henri Nouwen wrote over 40 books on spirituality and the spiritual life that have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages. His vision of spirituality was broad and inclusive, and his compassion embraced all of humankind.

He died in 1996. His work and his spirit live on.

Henri Nouwen pronounced his name "Henry Now-en." For more information on his life and work, please visit www.henrinouwen.org .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Nouwen packs so much wisdom into so little space. These aren't cerebral facts, these are life-altering, heart-changing ideas. These are words to fuel a revolution.
Essentially, in his simple and loving manner, Nouwen tells us that we've got it all wrong and that we need to get back to the basics. "Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead." This quote by Nouwen not only hits the nail on the head, it pinpoints the problem of serving God in an official capacity. Many have insulated themselves from relationships, often under the impression that they must show only their good side as a minister of the gospel; thus they wrestle alone with the sins of the flesh.
This short book attempts to refocus leaders' eyes on the basics...and the basics, as viewed here in poignant and startling clarity, take a lifetime to learn. Nouwen manages to make this all seem not only possible, but desirable. Not only helpful, but necessary. Each time my mind began to get in the way, his words brought me back to the responses of the heart.
To start and finish this book, Nouwen tells us about his mentally-handicapped friend Bill. By tucking his message between the very real love and efforts of his own life, Nouwen punctuates his words and shows us that they can, indeed, impact our own lives.
Even if it takes me 81 years to get it all figured out.
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Format: Paperback
I read this little book several years ago as part of a college class during the last semester before I graduated and entered full-time ministry. I enjoyed it then, but it was not until recently, when I picked it up again, that I was so incredibly moved by this author who seemed to understand so much about leadership than most of the big-name authors on leadership. "In the Name of Jesus" has had a major impact upon the way I view ministry. It is only 80 pages long and can easily be read in one sitting--you will do yourself a huge favor if you read and apply it. I name it among the top 5 books on ministry ever published.
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Format: Hardcover
Having just completed a seminary course on the life and writings of Henri Nouwen, I've come to the conclusion that I really admire and appreciate Henri Nouwen, the man, and really don't like Henri Nouwen, the author. I've read several of his books that simply didn't connect with me at all, though I know that they are hugely popular and helpful to scores of other people.

There is no question that among Henri Nouwen's books that I have read, "In the Name of Jesus" was definitely the most meaningful and helpful to me. I suspect that my resonance with this book is connected to his starting assumptions. Rather than struggles like fear and loneliness which are largely unknown to me and which were so central to several of his other books, I definitely identify with the temptations, described in "In the Name of Jesus," to be relevant, spectacular, and powerful. Each of these three is very attractive to me, so the book seemed to be speaking directly to me in ways that the other books simply did not.

The first issue that Nouwen addressed is relevance. Nouwen offers a helpful corrective to our frequent obsession with relevance, suggesting that we need to make sure that our pursuit of relevance is subservient to our pursuit of God. On page 24, he says, "The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus?...Do you know the incarnate God?" That is a message that we continually need to hear, so that we keep focused on the most important thing of knowing God while continuing to give appropriate attention to the less important things like relevance.

The second temptation, to be spectacular, is a big one for me.
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Format: Paperback
Another five star book that's less than 125 pages: between this, "I Had Seen Castles," and "Life Together," I'm beginning to really appreciate the shorter books.
The author of this book comes from an intersting background: he is a highly educated priest in the Catholic church, served on influential boards, and became a professor at Harvard University. Then, he gave it up and took a job working among mentally handicapped people in Canada. This book, a speech in its original form, is part Nouwen's process of adjusting to his new life and part a chronicle of lessons he's learned working among the developmentally disabled.
This book is primarily speaking to Christian pastors, emphasizing the need to "get back to the basics" of faith, especially not letting yourself get caught in the trap of thinking too highly of your own importance. However, it is an excellent read for pleasure as well. I would highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not just for formal Christian leaders, but for anyone who wants to be focused on what is really important in the Christian life. It is really short, and you could definitely read it in less than 2 hours (probably closer to 1 hour). But it will remind you of what being Christian is all about--being genuine and vulnerable, and loving others through that vulnerability. It is a beautiful picture of leadership, and about how as a leader we can be set free to be ourselves and enjoy God and love others. In a lot of ways, Nouwen shows how the most effective leadership is very simple and has been done for a couple thousand years. It's about emptying ourselves, taking up our cross, and sharing that journey with those in our care. This book is well worth the short amount of time it will take to read.
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