Thursday, January 04, 2007

Success vs. Fruitfulness

This morning's meditation from the e-list of the Henri Nouwen Society highlights once of the most important issues of consideration in our quest for the re-discovery of authentic Christian Leadership: the issue of success. What is success? How do we measure effectiveness in leadership? Is there a difference between success and effectiveness?
Nouwen in his usual erudite manner points us to the promise of vulnerability and voluntary weakness. He writes: "There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another's wounds. Let's remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness."

May we learn the wisdom of becoming wounded healers that find security in living dangerously and in voluntary vulnerability in the safe and strong hands of God.

The Henri Nouwen Society: