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The Christian leader

Can the Christian leader’s influence be driven by a biblically aligned worldview? Indeed, he should! As a matter of fact, he/she is compelled to do so (Jn. 17:21). Authoritarian and opportunistic leaders have self-interest as their goal – “personal promotion, recognition, monetary gain, prestige.” These are antithetical to Christian leadership, but the common factor here is human nature. We still struggle with “the self” (Gal. 5:17). A friend of mine told me some time ago how someone close to her was exploring the pastorate as he felt “there was money in it.” Motive!

In addressing issues related to “authority, the authoritarian, and persuasiveness,” (Land, 2005) argues that “Christ made it clear to his followers that His definition of authoritative leadership departed radically from the natural world’s experience… He (the leader) will be sensitive to their needs (the congregants) and will strive to be an inspiring and encouraging example to his flock, inspiring in them loyalty and trust.” (pp. 75,78). This is a stark difference from secular authoritarian practices. Admittedly, situations may require authoritative leadership, but not to the extent where we devalue others. The task-focused leader may tend toward more authoritarian practices to get things done and keep order, while the more supportive leader will adapt his/her methods of persuasiveness in order to achieve the same goals. Returning to my original question, then, the Christian leader who is called to shepherd and provide oversight/leadership (regardless of context) is obliged to lead biblically as he/she is being led (of God; cf. 1 Cor. 11:1).

Reference

Land, R. (2005). Pastoral leadership: Authoritarian or persuasive? Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry, (3)1, 74-80. Retrieved from https://www.nobts.edu/baptist-center-theology/journals/journals/spring-2005/JBTM_3-1_Spring_2005_05_Pastoral_Leadership.pdf

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