Book Review: The Wounded Healer


“The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.”- Henri Nouwen

As young leaders, we gather knowledge and experience and think that alone will help us become great leaders. I now believe that it is only after a leader has lived in the desert for a season and experienced true suffering and loss that God is able to use that broken person for His purposes.  We see this over and over in the Bible. Moses had to spend 40 years in desert before leading the people of God out of slavery and bondage.  David spent his early years tending sheep and then his early adult years running from Saul before he could be the king God wanted him to be. Jesus was led into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights before starting his public ministry.

The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen dives into this idea that God uses broken, imperfect people who have experienced pain to minister to other broken people.  While not a great piece of literature, I would recommend this book to anyone in ministry.  Its a quick read, less than 100 pages long.  However, Nouwen shares some great wisdom in this short book.  For that reason, I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

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