From my journal: Few books in my library have offered more quotable material than Jean Vanier's Community and Growth (Paulist Press, 1989).
Here's a nugget: "In order to be able to assume the responsibility for other people's growth, leaders must themselves have grown to true maturity and inner freedom. They must not be locked up in a prison of illusion or selfishness, and they must have allowed others to guide them.
"We can only command if we know how to obey. We can only be a leader if we know how to be a servant. We can only be a mother—or a father—figure if we are conscious of ourselves as a daughter or a son. Jesus is the Lamb before the He is the Shepherd. His authority comes from the Father; He is the beloved Son of the Father" (p. 225).
In the order of thought in Vanier's two paragraphs, I should like to raise these questions for some of us to ponder:
- What is "true maturity" in the biblical sense and is our Christian movement producing those kinds of persons in any reasonable quantity?