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Leading God's People
Wisdom from the Early Church for Today
PAPERBACK; Published: 4/3/2012
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6700-1
161 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5

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Using the wisdom of the past to address the challenges of the present, Christopher Beeley's Leading God's People presents key principles of church leadership as they were taught by great pastor-theologians of the early church, including Gregory of Nazianzus, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, and Gregory the Great.

Read an excerpt on the Eerdmans blog, EerdWord.
Rowan Williams
-- Archbishop of Canterbury
"In a religious climate where language about leadership is often regarded as basically a matter of secular managerial intrusion into theology, it is wonderful to have a book like this that roots our thinking about the calling of the Christian leader in the wisdom of the early church. This learned, readable, and very timely book deserves a very warm welcome."
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
-- Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
"A foundational and systematic description of the model of leadership in the early Christian community. The author weaves throughout his book excerpts from the epistles of St. Paul and the writings of the church fathers to illustrate that these early theologians understood the essential need for pastoral virtue, humility, holiness, and inspired preaching for effective church leadership. In particular, St. Augustine's insights are very compelling. Leading God's People serves as an instructional and meditative companion for clergy members, seminarians, and lay ministers who desire to faithfully exercise their church authority in the most representational manner of Christ's pastoral shepherding of his flock."
John Behr
-- Dean, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
"This is a wonderful book, based upon Christopher Beeley's deep love and knowledge of the great fathers of the church, East and West, as well as the practice of ministry within the church. . . . Provides solid guidance to all who are interested in the practice of Christian leadership, both lay and ordained."
Theological Book Review
"There is much in this book to challenge and disrupt more managerial vernaculars of Christian servant leadership, offering historically-rigorous and theologically-nuanced alternatives (or sometime re-framing the question altogether). . . . A valuable and accessible re-introduction to some of Christianity's earliest statements on living in and working with the mission of God."
Cistercian Studies Quarterly
"An immensely satisfying and enjoyable walk through the wisdom of the Church Fathers. . . . The book is intelligently written, enjoyable to read, and spiritually illuminating."
Christian Century
"In these days of high-stress, low-status pastoring, clergy need reminders from leaders of the early church about the core purpose of their work, and about its importance and its essential dignity and meaning. Beeley draws on the works of early leaders to deliver just such a reminder. . . . Refreshingly difference from many current books on leadership."
Leadership Journal
"Beeley presents in a fresh and accessible way the fundamentals of church leadership as they were taught by some of the great theologians of the church. . . . He presents a systematic philosophy of pastoral leadership as retrieved from the church fathers. And it is packed with extraordinary quotes. If for nothing else, buy the book for the quotes. Nowhere else will you find such an arrangement of ancient wisdom on church leadership."
Expository Times
"A folksy introduction to a pastoral model that draws on the works of several key patristic thinkers and melds them with advice for today's religious leaders. . . . The strongest aspect of Beeley's work: the ability to inspire. While never making it easy, he always makes it sound possible. . . . Such hopeful advice is always welcome."
Reviews in Religion and Theology
"This delightful little volume . . . is a welcome primer on the vision of pastoral leadership of the early church. . . . A readable and helpful introduction."
Presbyterian Outlook
"Beckons clergy to attend to the theology and practice of early church pastors. . . . Here is food for every pastor and church leader."