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Something to Say: Pastoral Leadership and the Word

Joseph H. Britton

The asking of questions is an essential element of pastoral leadership. Not only does it push individuals and congregations to reflect on their core convictions, but it also mirrors the manner of God’s relationship with us. Rowan Williams has observed that this interrogative mode is most clearly evident in Jesus, who is God’s question to humanity. Though the exact form of this question is never specified, it engages us in a circle of question and response that draws us into the inexhaustible love of God. Life in the church therefore has a provisional nature as it questions itself and its presentation of the gospel, and the church’s existence cannot simply be taken for granted. Effective pastoral leadership is thus contingent upon having “something to say” by way of raising those questions that draw the church into deeper engagement with the world and more effective proclamation of the gospel.

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