Discerning Leadership: Cooperating with the Go-Between God, by Graham Cray. Grove Leadership Series No. 1. Reviewed by Sue Heatherington
Discerning Leadership: Cooperating with the Go-Between God, by Graham Cray. Grove Leadership Series No. 1.
Grove Books, 2010, 28 pages, ISBN 978-1-85174-764-1, £3.95.
Reviewed by Sue Heatherington
In revisiting John V Taylor’s writings on the work of the Go-Between God in the person of the Holy Spirit, Graham Cray has produced a profound yet simple guidebook for all Christian leaders in today’s world. He does not shy away from the realities of our now largely irrelevant models of leadership and the shift from a predictable, known world to a culture of organised diversity with little sense of defining core.
Instead Graham acknowledges the rightful leadership of the Holy Spirit and invites us to cultivate our ‘followership’ in very practical ways, recognising that “the breath of God has always played a more decisive part than our human strategy.” Recognising Him as the Relational Spirit (He is the active leader of the Church’s mission, anticipating the future and being able to straddle both the now and not yet) liberates us from the notion that leadership is individual and that the He is merely here to support our efforts!
Cultivating the practice of discernment is therefore about increasing our openness to the Holy Spirit and His revelation in us and through us. With character and charism at the heart of discernment, Graham outlines how they are developed in maturity, with plurality.
The practical exposition of triple listening: to God directly, the Christian body you are leading, and the local community, takes us beyond much of our current practice and provides practical illustrations of what this might look like.
Don’t read this if you are comfortable with your current leadership practice. Do read it if you are hungry for a way of being that gives back to the Holy Spirit His rightful place in leading the mission of Jesus in our changing world.
Sue Heatherington, Waterside Consulting (www.waterside-consulting.co.uk) .
This review first appeared in MODEM Matters Issue 12 in July 2010.