This paper is my reflections on the biblical foundations of leadership. I will be reflecting on two topics that have given me a better perspective of what it means to be a christian leader. Since I have been a pastor, I have always been taught basic knowledge of what it takes to lead. But my first lecture on this course has change and deepened my knowledge and understanding on the two subject.
The two topics I will be reflecting on are: Needed Leader and Needy leader. Both of these topics provide clear understanding on how and why our society in today’s world is the way it is. These will also provide hope to reestablished the relationship between leader and follower.
The Needed Leader
Leadership according to James D. Barkley, is difficult, necessary and it is ours. Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus reported that they discovered over 850 different definitions of leadership. in attempt to give his own definition, Berkley went ahead to say that Biblical Leadership takes place when divinely appointed men and women respond in obedience to God’s call. They recognize the importance of preparation, allowing the holy spirit to develop tenderness of heart and skill of hands. well said. Berkley definition is agreeing with the Lecturer notes in class where he defined a needed leader as “you don’t like the position but people want need you”. probably because they must have watch all the qualities that Berkley listed above in you. He said “it a divine call, you respond in obedience, you know the importance of the task ahead of you, that is why preparation is needed, allowing the Holy spirit to develop tenderness of heart and finally skills of hands”. This list has give me a reason to believes leadership is not for any kind of persons but God driven.
Bruce P. Power and James T. Roberson might have understood very well this principles when they said, “it is surprising, and something puzzling to church leaders, that the New Testament nowhere provides a definitive description of the church. Rather, the Bible speak profusely on the nature and mission of the church but always in models and illustrations never in straightforward definitions. The clearest understanding can be gained from primary images that have informed church leaders over the centuries”
Reflecting on Berkley and Bruce statements, this can give me the clue to why a leader will be needed and he does not want it. Also Berkley will say that these kind of leaders, “carry out their leadership roles with a deep conviction of God’s will and acute awareness of contemporary issues their followers face.”
A case study in the Bible will be Joshua, Moses told him “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” (Joshua 1: 6), this verse tells us that Joshua was afraid of the task ahead of him, so he needed courage to overcome the fear. Reflecting on Joshua, I see some qualities of needed leaders when it comes to accepting a task. Which I agree with Berkley who say, “they exercise leadership as servants, and stewards, sharing authority with the followers and affirming that Leadership is primarily ministry to others, modeling for others, and mutual membership with others in Christ body”
The Needy Leader
On the other hand, we have needy leaders. According to the lecturer, “needy leaders are not wanted by people but the leader want to be”. Some of the reasons people may not want you as a leader is because they might not have observed the qualities we listed above of a needed leader.
Some of the needy leaders do not understand what it means to be call into leadership. Ben Patterson says, “we may not understand everything about the call to ministry, but one thing must be clear in our minds: a call is not a career.” he went ahead to gives us the distinctions “In a career, the roads are well marked out, the rest is up to the traveler but a call, on the other hand, has no maps, no itinerary to follow, no destination to envision. Rather a call depends upon a voice.”
Ralph Turnbull(author of the Baker dictionary of Practical Theology) explains further, “I may preach as the paid pastor of a church, but I am not being paid to preach. I am given an allowance so that I can be more free to preach.” reflecting on Turnbull statement I can see that most of the needy leader are paid to do their work, because do not see it from the angle of a call to ministry.
To conclude, needed leaders are courageous leaders because their integrity gives them the courage after they must have examine what it takes to face a task ahead of them. On the other hand, needy leaders may be Brave but without courage because they most probably did not count the cost and may only do things as long as it satisfied their ego. The later may lack commitment, lack conviction, competency, and above character.
- Berkley, D. James, (2007) Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration. United States: Baker book house. P177
- Bruce, P. Power and James, T. Roberson, (2008) Church Administration Handbook. United States: B&H Publishing group, Nashville, Tennessee.
- Ben, Patterson,(2007) The call to Ministry: United States, Grand Rapids. Baker Publisher, P39
- Turnbull, Ralph, Baker dictionary of Practical Theology) Grand Rapids Michigan,
- Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, Leaders: strategies for Taking Charge. United States, Grand Rapids Michigan, P4