Christian Leadership, Thesis: Which box do I fit into? (Part 1)


Click here for Part 2 —>
Leadership Style, Christian Ministry, Christian Leadrship, Dr Neal McBride, How to Lead Small Groups, The Traditional Leader, The Servant-Leader, The Situational Leader, Dr Reggie McNeal, The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church, Priest or Holy Person, Shepherd or Pastor, Educator or Wordsmith, Managers or Program Directors, Chief Executive Officer or Manager, Apostolic Leadership, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, a Baptist minister, known as a civil rights activist. This photo is of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the only time the two men ever met; their meeting lasted only one minute. The question facing me is what differentiates a Christian leader from any other leader? Click image to enlarge.

A Call Committee, representing an East Rand church, has approached my wife and I requesting that we consider an appointment as pastor to their congregation. As such the assignment, “Present a paper entitled “Leadership Style for Christian Ministry” in which you argue for what you would say is the applicable leadership style in the ministry you are likely to be involved in” is the matter of the moment and well worth mulling. Which leadership box do I fall into?

As I considered Dr Neal McBride’s How to Lead Small Groups (1990:29-42) succinct summation of leadership styles, namely: The Traditional Leader, The Servant-Leader, The Situational Leader and Shared Leadership, I immediately started the ‘boxing’ process. While chewing on Dr Reggie McNeal’s The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church (2003:120-139) past-present motifs: Priest or Holy Person, Shepherd or Pastor, Educator or Wordsmith, Managers or Program Directors, Chief Executive Officer or Manager and then later Apostolic Leadership, I couldn’t help thinking, “So many containers, surely one will have my name on it?”

This was a bit of a risky paper I wrote related to two works, one by Dr Neal McBride’s (1990:29-42) and the other by Dr Reggie McNeal’s (2003:120-139). Risky because I was quite critical of both papers at the time of writing but in retrospect I might overcooked my response and risky because I spent too long thinking and not enough time treating the content of the papers. I’ve got a lot of academic work to do before I’m churning out quality papers. I’m planning on editing this blog series to remove some of the edge. If you’re interested in Leadership Theory I’d love to hear some of your feedback.

Click here for Part 2 —>
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6 thoughts on “Christian Leadership, Thesis: Which box do I fit into? (Part 1)

  1. I’m interested of course in Christian leadership theory, have an M.Th. in Christian leadership, and I’m about to (it looks like) wrap up an M.A. in Christian leadership in addition. One has to give the illusion of knowing how to do it. I continually come across examples of how Christian leadership is fundamentally different to secular leadership. So are you intending to follow MLK or Malcolm X?

  2. I thought of you while writing this. I’d agree with the statement, “I continually come across examples of how Christian leadership is fundamentally different to secular leadership” yet I’m concerned that Christian Leader Theory and Leader Theory look so similar. I think what I’d like to see is a work which considers Historical Christian Leader Theory or Systematic Christian Leadership Theory or even Narrative Christian Leadership Theory. What I don’t want to see is warmed up secular concepts dressed in cassocks and prefixed with the word “Christian”. Know what I mean?

    MLK and Malcolm X are really just there to contrast two leaders, one a Baptist and the other a Muslim.

  3. Yes, an important point. I feel strongly that one can’t just prefix “Christian”. Not because one rejects all things secular, but because the two kinds of leadership are further apart than is often understood.

  4. Yes, agreed. Worldly leadership forges ahead regardles, where as int the christian model, we look to Jesus, who served his diciples by washing their feet. The greater the role of leadership, the the role of servant applies, as Paul often called himslef ” a bondslave of ouf Lord Jesus Christ”
    How do we lead this way best? By relaying the truth of the gospel. You can do a man no greater service thant pointing him to the one who can truly save him, from his worst enemy, himself.

  5. good molly Because He Lives , i look your blog , be a nice blog and perfect. Great for everyone. useful Crystal Park Baptist Church and Chief Executive Officer or Manager content. i will plan to read and comment your website.

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