Friday, June 04, 2010

Kent & Barbara Hughes Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome

This book was given to me as a Christmas present, and I've greatly enjoyed reading it over the last few weeks. It's basically about how the most important thing in ministry is staying close to God rather than growth in numbers and so on. I've found it very good for devotional reading.

The book itself is very good - some of the quotes from other writers are outstanding.

Someone once asked George MacDonald why, if God loves us so much and knows everything we need before we ask, must we pray. MacDonald's magnificent answer remains wonderfully instructive.

What if he knows prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God's idea of prayer be the supplying of our great, our endless need - the need of himself? What if the good of all our smaller and lower needs lies in this, that they help drive us to God? Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other needs; prayer is the beginning of that communion.

(p.72)

(quoting Malcolm Muggeridge)

If it were ever possible to eliminate affliction from our earthly existence by means of some drug or other medical mumbo-jumbo, as Aldous Huxley envisaged in Brave New World, the result would not be to make life delectable but to make it too banal and trivial to be endurable.

(p.121)

GK Chesterton once described a paradox as "truth standing on its head crying for attention."

(p.138)

(quoting Bruce Thieleman)

The pulpit calls those anointed to it as the sea calls its sailors; and like the sea it batters and bruises, and does not rest... To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know each time that you must do it again.

(p.183)

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