Chris Yaw Interviews Frank Wade on Leading the "Nation's Church"

Taken with permission from

It may be America's best known church - and the man at the top says his leadership style begins at the bottom.

Frank Wade, Interim Dean at the Washington National Cathedral, brings a wealth of experience and intelligence to his work - and in this interview passes along some of the leadership lessons he's picked up along the way.

Enjoy these words from a 'village elder' whose credo is to Trust the Spirit.

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Frank Wade has learned a thing or two about leadership in his lifelong career as a minister. He's also well-known as a preacher and a keen observer of Christianity in North America. Here are my notes from the interview:

We're in a Creative Moment

The depth of transition in the Church today that has led us into uncharted waters has also brought a wealth of possibility. It seems as though the Lord is calling forward gifts of innovation and entrepreurialism, how might we receive them?

The Lowerarchy of Ministry

Nope, that's not a typo - it's one of Frank's 3 keen observations about effective leadership: how can we transcend the ranks to realize the greatest among us is the one who serves?

Don't Make It Happen

The Christian's job is not to make it happen, but to let the Spirit make it happen. In what ways are we to shun the role of fount and take on the role of channel?

About Frank Wade

The Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade is a graduate of The Citadel and the Virginia Theological Seminary who has served as an Episcopal priest since 1966. He has served congregations in his native West Virginia and at St. Alban's Parish on the grounds of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. His sermons have been published in a variety of anthologies. He is author of Jubilee People, Jubilee Lives, The Art of Being Together, and Transforming Scripture. He is a frequent contributor to Forward Movement publications including Forward Day by Day. He has served in a variety of positions for The Episcopal and is an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Theological Seminary. He continues to serve as a consultant to a variety of congregations and church institutions and since January 2012 has been serving as Interim Dean of Washington National Cathedral.   He has been married to the former Mary Jane Criss since 1963. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Books Frank Recommends

Religion in Human Evolution - Robert Bellah

 When I Was a Child I Read Books - Marilynne Robinson

Streams of Living Water - Richard Foster

Sponsors I Mentioned

Are you headed to the Wild Goose festival? Thousands of campers are headed to the beautiful hills of North Carolina June 21-24. Wild Goose is a festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality, and art. Some of this year's guests are Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Shane Claiborne. ChurchNext is a proud sponsor - find out more at