Building Below the Waterline

Here’s a good book I read last week by Gordon MacDonald entitled Building Below the Waterline. He’s a pastor (with decades of experience) writing to pastors about the importance of having solid spiritual foundations in place. The image, from which the book derives its title, is of the Brooklyn Bridge – the chief engineer wrote of the bridge that the masonry, concrete, and foundations under the water is equal to that which is visible above the water line. The lesson is clear – there needs to be a whole load of foundation material people don’t see supporting what they do see. He talks in the book about the private life of a leader, his devotional life, cultivating the soul, recharging the batteries, “knee-driven ministry”, and much else besides. Here’s a nice quote from the book on wisdom, maturity, and the use of our tongues:

“I have been working hard to stop telling people my latest insights, my spiritual intentions, and my opinions about every leader, every organization and every ministry. I’m not quite as smart or wise as I used to be, and I’m finding that saying less is better. Talking too quickly, too much, and too cleverly is destructive to the spirit. The spiritual men and women I’ve come to admire were generally quiet-spirited and more silent than verbose.”

A good book to take on your next quiet day perhaps.

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