Christian leadership

The finals high is over (see the previous post); a new quarter has begun.  My last full time quarter for my M.Div (after this I will just have a few odds and ends to finish up).  In lieu of coming up with consistent hilarious, witty, and creative content, I am going to start posting some pithy thoughts from my various classes (Leadership in Youth Ministry, and exegetical classes on the books of Job and John).  I don’t know how often or how interesting these posts will be.  No promises.

In the first day of my leadership class we started talking about the theology under girding Christian leadership.  We were asked to come up with a definition of leadership, and then a definition of Christan leadership.  I came up with a rather bland and general definition of leadership – the ability to bring a person or group of people from one place to another.  As I thought about what makes Christian leadership different, I came up with this definition – the ability to bring a person or group of people from one place to another with a heart of humility, service and love.  In other words, Christian leadership is leadership with a particular character/motive/approach/drive behind it.  Christian leadership is rooted not in power and glory, but in humility, love, and service.

We spent some time in class discussing the difference between a hierarchical leadership (“from above”) and a primus model of leadership (“from among”).  I felt blessed to have the experiences I have had in the few churches I have worked in as I have been exposed to some very healthy understandings of what it means to lead others.

Our first assigned reading for the class is Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus.  My mother-in-law (though we weren’t related at the time) assigned this book to me about 5 years ago when I was a ministry intern the summer before my final semester of college.  Since then, I have read the book 4 or 5 times and I continually find myself humbled, puzzled, and aware of my own brokenness as I read Nouwen’s reflections on what it means to lead others.  I look forward to reading it again.


2 thoughts on “Christian leadership

  1. Why does it seem strange that you called me your mother-in-law? Ha! I don’t know why that seems really wierd.
    It’s a great book. I just skimmed it again this weekend.
    Spirtual Leadership by Oswald Sanders is another one you need to read if you haven’t. A classic an oh so relevant at the same time.
    Have fun in your last semester of seminary!


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