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Serving with Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice Paperback – May 4, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Skinner House Books (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558965629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558965621
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


What a good book - useful, provocative, interesting! Erik Walker Wikstrom challenges the reader to think about not only what, but why and especially how she or he approaches congregational leadership. It belongs on the shelves of every church library and in the hands of every one of its leaders. --Anne Odin Heller, author, Churchworks: A Well Body Book for Congregations

Erik Wikstrom seeks to ''radically reconceptualize'' church leadership, urging us to make the practice of leadership a spiritual practice, too. Both wise and pragmatic, Serving With Grace points the way toward spiritual growth and learning not only in the sanctuary, but in the meeting room. --David M. Horst, Minister, First Parish in Malden, Universalist

Meditation, ritual and prayer are the glamorous side of the spiritual life, but service is its heart. Serving With Grace combines the idea that service is spirituality with practical ways of living it out. It shows leaders how to be mindful in ways that bring out the spiritual in ordinary forms of service. It's a simple yet rich idea and a gem of a book. --Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Writing in the Sand

About the Author

Erik Walker Wikstrom is minister of First Parish Brewster, Unitarian Universalist, in Brewster Massachusetts. A student of Zen Buddhism for 20 years, he has a master's degree in divinity from Harvard Divinity School and advanced training in spiritual guidance from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.

More About the Author

The Reverend Erik Walker Wikstrom is a one-time juggler, clown, magician, fire-eater, escape-artist, mask-maker who now is the father of two beautiful boys, and the partner of a wonderful woman. After nearly fifteen years as a parish minister, and the first Worship and Music Resources Director for the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Erik is now serving a congregation in Virginia.

In addition to the books he's written, Erik has been included in the Skinner House anthologies Everyday Spiritual Practice: simple pathways for enriching your life (Scott Alexander, ed.) and Christian Voices in Unitarian Universalism (Kathleen Rolenz, ed.) He maintains a regular blog, A Minister's Musings.

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This little book gave me a whole new perspective on church leadership. I belong to a small congregation (about 64 members) and leader recruitment, retention, and burnout is a big issue. After reading Wikstrom, I realized that I need to think differently about everything I do at church. I've always had a mental separation between "church" and "church work." "Church" was where I got inspiration and challenge, spiritual growth, and community. "Church work" was the business that needed to be done to make church happen. I enjoyed much of the work I did for my congregation, but I conducted meetings as if we were a business, not a spiritual enterprise. Wikstrom helped me see that Board meetings are as much a spiritual practice as listening to a sermon or singing in the choir. Board meetings are where we take our mission and make it manifest in the world. They are the place where I need to practice my values and principles to treat others with respect, even when I disagree with them, or find something about them odd or annoying. I think every church leader should read it.
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This is an absolutely wonderful book for lay leaders to redefine their role in church leadership as spiritual. It is clearly written and a must read for lay leaders.
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