In a post-Christian culture, parish clergy can find themselves at a loss, ill-equipped to deal with a reality for which seminary did not prepare them. As a result, the Church and its clergy can seem to flounder from one “program” to the next or get enamored with secular self-help strategies. To learn to lead well in this new context, the Church needs to help clergy refocus on what both works and is true to their tradition and theology. Enter Scott Benhase, whose Done and Left Undone proposes an ascetical theology of leadership based in St. Benedict’s Promise of Stability, Obedience, and Conversion of Life. The Promise helps clergy move forward from their inward identity to their outward askesis (discipline), their inner life experience of resting in the mercy of God’s grace in harmony with their outward role in the church. Benhase believes parish clergy can lead faithfully and well without following a program or leadership style that does not fit them. Leading from ascetical grace does not require parish clergy to be something they are not. It invites them, rather, to a way of being and an askesis that will help them be both faithful and effective in parish leadership.
Scott Anson Benhase was the tenth Episcopal bishop of Georgia. He now serves as the vicar of St. Cyprian’s in Durham, North Carolina.
*After submission, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. Please click the link to complete your subscription. You can opt out of receiving emails from us at any time.