Dorotheos of Gaza: Discourses and Sayings. Chapter 18 Of the Relations Between the President and His Disciples in Monasteries: How the President should conduct himself towards the brethren, and how they should subject themselves to him.
If you are put in charge of the brethren, in your care of them be strict in thought and merciful in action, teach them the way to live both by word and by deed but especially by your deeds, because example is more stimulating than words. (Page 237)
So begins Dorotheos’ treatment of leadership in the monastic setting. Much of what he writes in this discourse is applicable to the parish setting. In the parish setting the President is the priest. The Priest presides. As always, humility and love are the standard.
Dorotheos covers many different topics in this brief treatise. Everything he says scores a 10 out of 10 for difficulty. Here are just a few:
- do not rebuke others especially when angry
- blame yourself even in the most trivial thing
- never trust your own determinations
- do not become an examiner of your spiritual directors
Before we say or do anything, let us determine if it is in accord with God’s will. And praying with this intention let us speak or act, at the same time casting our powerlessness before God, and in this way his goodness will come upon us in everything we do. (Page 240)