Done and Left Undone

Grace in the Meantime of Ministry

Scott Anson Benhase

Jan/2018, 176 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640650169



An original and thoughtful approach to a grace-filled theology of leadership.

In a post-Christian culture, parish clergy can find themselves at a loss, ill-equipped to deal with a reality for which seminary did not prepare them. As a result, the Church and its clergy can seem to flounder from one “program” to the next or get enamored with secular self-help strategies. To learn to lead well in this new context, the Church needs to help clergy refocus on what both works and is true to their tradition and theology. Enter Scott Benhase, whose Done and Left Undone proposes an ascetical theology of leadership based in St. Benedict’s Promise of Stability, Obedience, and Conversion of Life.

The Promise helps clergy move forward from their inward identity to their outward askesis (discipline), their inner life experience of resting in the mercy of God’s grace in harmony with their outward role in the church. Benhase believes parish clergy can lead faithfully and well without following a program or leadership style that does not fit them. Leading from ascetical grace does not require parish clergy to be something they are not. It invites them, rather, to a way of being and an askesis that will help them be both faithful and effective in parish leadership.

Scott Anson Benhase was the 10th Bishop of Georgia. He served in parish ministry for 27 years. In parish ministry, he had a pattern of calls that led him to parishes that were longing for redevelopment and refocusing toward a deeper life of grace and a robust engagement in the community. As bishop, he instituted specific, required training programs for all parish clergy so that they can be more effective in their leadership. He now serves as the vicar of St. Cyprian’s in Durham, North Carolina.

"The deep wisdom of Done and Left Undone is refreshing, penetrating, and, most importantly, useful in the everyday challenges of being an ordained church leader. This book is a celebration of our God-given capacity to embrace an impossible mission with humble and thankful hearts."—The Rt. Rev. Anne E. Hodges-Copple, Bishop Suffragan, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina

"Bishop Benhase summons clergy to our foundations: to become, again, teachers of the 'Great Narrative of Redemption' and the sacramental and ascetical practices that daily immerse us in it. Only then can mission move organically and passionately from the 'inside-out.' His call to Christian formation under the gospel of grace could scarcely be more urgent."—The Rev. Dr. Julia Gatta, The Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Pastoral Theology, School of Theology, University of the South

"Benhase's book reads like a good sermon: you'll find yourself arguing with him, wanting to modify parts of what he is saying, and, on occasion, nodding your head in total agreement. The chapter on ascetical leadership is full of practical wisdom."—The Rev. Robert Gallagher, Priest and Consultant in Congregational Development, Seattle, Washington

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