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Christian leadership

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 2 months ago

Jesus the leader

Jesus did not set a model for leadership, he abolished it. His model of leadership was as an enabler, not as a leader in current usage. He forbids his followers from acting like kings, instead offering himself as an example of servant leadership (Mt 20:25-28, Mk 10:42-45).


This continues to grow on me. It relates well to the Old Testament stories as well. For example, when the Israelites asked for a King. God didn't really want one (1 Sa 8:4-22). It all fits.


One of the Godfather films has the subtitle Power cannot be given. It must be taken. The power and authority Christ gives, offers and uses is the exact opposite of this. Having the authority of King of Kings available (Phil 2:6-8), Christ explicitly rejected it (Mt 4:8-9, Lk 4:5-6), and still stands at the door and knocks (Rev 3:20), and waits for it to be opened.


As I write this I am planning a special service, with all the old problems, which seem to all stem from our failures to follow Jesus' model of leadership. I believe that when we sign someone up for a roster, it cuts both ways. They undertake to carry out some duties, but we should undertake to tell them when those duties change, and not to assume that they will automatically commit to those changed duties.


This doesn't seem to be the way it works. We often take our volunteers for granted, and never so much so as for combined services. Sometimes we just assume that they will take on the new duties these involve. Other times we just assume that they will know they're not wanted. Rarely do we bother to contact them and give them the option of being involved.


This to me smacks of the worst sort of assertiveness, and I mean assertiveness in a negative sense of manipulative conduct, not the positive assertiveness encouraged in Systematic Assertion Therapy (SAT). Whenever we take people for granted, we say in effect my time is more important than yours is. When we allow them to turn up to do a job that isn't needed, we are saying this very eloquently indeed.


This is the very opposite to Jesus' example and teaching, valuing the time of others. Lives are made of time. This means valuing people's lives, and the people themselves. The greatest example is Jesus giving his life (Mt 20:28, Mk10:45). When he calls us friends not servants (Jn 15:15), he is saying that our time is equally important to his.


That's not to say that we intend to tell people they don't matter, or even that we are aware of feeling this. But our actions often reveal our real feelings far more than our words, and this is the case here. And even if this attitude may not be consciously perceived by the volunteer, it may still be felt quite painfully.


And I can relate these to Jesus' way of working. This is Jesus as the example mainly I suppose, but it also reflects Jesus explicit teaching as I said above and his sacrifice, that is Jesus as God.


This was originally submitted as part of a Christology assignment, which is why some of the references to things said "above" don't make sense!

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