Friday, September 09, 2005 | |

The Leadership Blog Interview: Sally Morgenthaler

Sally Morgenthaler

Bio: Known best for her book, Worship Evangelism (Zondervan, 1998). She has contributed to eight books. Her latest collaborative effort was Exploring the Worship Spectrum: Six Views (2004, Zondervan). Morgenthaler’s chapter, “Emerging Worship” has been haled as a “worship road-map” to emerging worship. InterVarsity Press will publish her debut work on leadership, with an expected release of 2007. Morgenthaler writes the worship and culture column for Leonard Sweet’s, PreachingPlus (

Morgenthaler has taught both graduate courses at some of the nation’s most respected theological institutions, incuding Yale University, Asbury Seminary, Denver Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Gordon Conwell Seminary, Mars Hill Graduate School, Baylor University, and Texas Christian University. She has been a featured guest on radio stations around the country, as well as a featured speaker at a host of leadership and worship conferences.


The Leadership Blog Interview Questions
1. Sally, What gives you the greatest joy in being a leader?

Sally: "Leadership for me is about creating space for others to flourish and live their best lives. I love setting up an environment that releases people to innovate, re:imagine, and co-create together."

2. What is your biggest pet peeve as a leader?
Sally: "Trying to work within antiquated, top-down systems. Business models ofeven ten years ago do not tap into peoples' creative energy or releasetheir best ideas and work."

3. Who made the biggest influence in your life as a leader?
Sally: "Carrell Pray, teacher, musician, photographer, artist. Her rennaissance-spirit, ability to go way beyond the box in any endeavor,and focus on releasing latent talent is nothing short of phenomenal. Her mantra in life: anything is possible. "

4. What books have changed your life?
Sally: "Thomas Kuhn - The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Margaret Wheatley's -Finding Our Way: Leadership for Uncertain Times; also, Leadership and the New Science, Carole Gilligan's -In a Different Voice"

5. What's your biggest challenge as a leader?
Sally: "Holding my own goals loosely. If I truly believe that my job is to simply open up the pathways for peoples' best ideas and work, my job is not to provide the sole vision for an organization or project, but to co-create the best communal vision. If my identity is wrapped up in the small lens I have on life, that fixation will become a barrier to innovation and relationship - both so crucial to transformational change."

6. What goals do you have as a leader?
Sally: "Right now, I'm in a deeply reflective mode about what's next for me on this planet. I am trying to stay open to any option, not discounting the wildest idea. I am an artist at the core, and I long to return to the expressive work in music, photography, and writing that sustains my spirit and speaks a bit of truth to others. Where leadership will fit in to that trajectory, I don't have any idea."

7. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Sally: "A whole lot healthier in mind, body, and soul than I am now. Perhap sserving as a guide for church leaders re: collaborative, co-creativesystems (certainly not the norm in church life now!) I also see women's mental and working style DNA as key to making the transition into postmodern culture. I am starting to work with women leaders to help them by-pass years of invalidation and affirm that their time has come to lead."

Thanks Sally for a great interview and for being the first woman and worship leader to take the Leadership Blog Interview!