Chapter 27

The Unconquerable Joy of Selling That Ignites a Fire

WHAT YOU ARE about to read next may surprise you.

Felicity and I are having dinner in London not too long ago. We are with the Archbishop of Canterbury. (I apologize for name-dropping, but, well…heck!) He heads the worldwide Anglican Communion—including the Episcopal churches in the United States.

We are involved in a major project for the church. The Archbishop is providing his strong leadership to the project. It is a social evening, but it is also to determine the strategy for his proposed program.

“What makes the difference?” I ask. “What makes the difference between a strong, vital parish and one that is faltering and stumbling?”

“That's an easy one,” he says. “It's all about leadership.

“If the priest or bishop is strong, the church will flourish. If he or she is weak and languid, the church totters.”

“Then tell me, what are the characteristics of a forceful and vital priest?” I'm waiting for a protracted and profound response.

“This is going to surprise you. I've thought about it a lot. What separates the great ones from the insipid and listless priests—are you ready for this—is that the most effective and most highly regarded are having fun in their ministry.”

“Having fun? Really?” I would never have guessed this answer.

“Yes, if they're not having fun in their spiritual journey, it shows. The parishioners pick it up right away. The priest may be lyrical in providing the liturgy and give a thundering sermon. ...

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