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Fear and Trust: God-centered Leadership – David Runcorn

David Runcorn

Fear and Trust: God-centred Leadership

ISBN 9780 2810 6389 5

Ebook ISBN 9780 2810 6673 5

SPCK, 2011, £9.99

 David Runcorn is now a “free range priest” – having worked as a parish priest and in theological training and development.  His experience has aroused in him serious misgivings about the current ecclesiastical preoccupation with the models of personnel selection and training to be found in the world of business, and this concern finds a clear voice in his latest book.

With him we revisit the narratives of 1 and 2 Samuel in the Old Testament, and trace the leadership theme through the stories of the last of the Judges (Samuel) and the first of the kings (Saul, Jonathan, David) with the light of sanity and compassion provided by women (Hannah, Michal, Bathsheba, Rizpah, the witch of Endor).  Jonathan was the king in waiting whom Yahweh rejected in favour of David.

Many readers will be led to revise their perceptions of these archetypal leadership figures, and will find in their stories themes familiar to us with our leadership concerns and anxieties – celebrity status, early promise soon fading, the effects of the exercise of power on mental health, the price of over exposure to the public gaze, the heavy cost to the leader’s family

The conclusion?  Renewal comes about not under the leadership of those driven by anxiety about preservation of the institution, but of those free from such anxiety, free to dream a different world.

“We are called to the honest, disciplined attentiveness that has shaped this extraordinary work of ancient storytelling.  Our hope lies here – and nowhere else”.

Anselm SSF