Leadership Profile: Chris Heuertz, Activist, Author, Public Speaker, USA

Q. Please tell us about your family.

A. I've been married to Phileena for fourteen years and we share our home with a blue fish named, “A Unicorn Named Diamond.”

Q. Please give us a brief overview of your work and ministry.

A. Phileena and I serve as the co-executive directors for Word Made Flesh, a community of contemplative activists called and committed to serving Christ among the most vulnerable of the world's poor. Phileena's distinction in the co-directorship is for accompaniment and mine is for partnership.

Q. Who has been the most influential person in your life/ministry, and why?

A. Between 1993 and 1996 I had the privilege of sitting down with Mother Teresa more than a dozen times. Her kindness and love made quite an impact on me. Her availability surprised me. Watching her pray, seeing her serve, and observing her in community with the other Missionaries of Charity made a deep vocational impression on me.

Q. What one issue do you believe is the greatest barrier or opportunity to evangelism, and why?

A. I think many evangelicals have perfected a form of theological reductionism, over-identifying people as potential converts rather than loving them for the sake of love. We've turned people into a “target audience” and failed to recognize the divine imprint of God in all humanity. I think it's an earnest and sincere mistake, but one that has contributed to the diminishment of all of us in community. Reflecting on the relationship between Jesus and Judas helps us unravel some of these tendencies, Jesus' “success” with Judas wasn't demonstrated in Judas' response to Christ's love, but was validated in the fidelity of love Christ had for Judas.

Q. What book do you most often recommend to others to read, and why?

A. My wife's book, Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life, is a theological narrative that is mapped against the metaphor of pilgrimage that invites men and women into a deeper understanding of the movements of the soul toward union with Christ.

Q. What websites, bloggers, and Tweeters do you regularly follow?

A. Twitter: @phileena, @wordmadeflesh, @jesus, @zwilliamsmusic, @charlestlee; Blogs: www.faithandleadership.com/blog; http://michaelhyatt.com; www.ourtimetoact.com

Q. What would you like to be doing in ten years?

A. I hope I continue to provoke an alternative evangelical consciousness towards hope, justice, and freedom for all, not something sub-cultural, but counter-cultural to how Christians see these things now.