Christian Leadership

While I was reading “Jesus Manifesto”, one of the things that kept coming up was the idea of leadership. There were a few times that the writers seemed to imply that we are more focused on leadership in the Church than we are Jesus. They pointed out the pile of materials you can find at your local Christian bookstore on “leadership” versus the amount of writing or dialog taking place about Jesus.

There may be some truth to that. Even more true, and maybe more to the point, is that many people have been hurt deeply by what people called “leadership” at the time they were hurting.

In the church that I’m a part of we’ve been trying an experiment. Some of us know it, some of us are just unsuspecting test subjects.

I’ve seen leaders who have been so hurt in the Church that they become extremely controlling in an effort to make sure that neither they nor anyone else, gets hurt that way again. But unfortunately, what we fear we tend to attract.

I’ve seen leaders who are so full of themselves they have turned a question, a challenge or a confrontation about their own actions and behavior into a “spiritual authority” matter. To challenge them is to reject God, the Father, Himself and His “ordained” structure of “headship”.

I’ve seen leaders, so eager to be listened to and followed that they answered everyone’s cry for a “king” like all the other churches have only to find themselves socially and employment-wise torn down when the winds of whims shifted. Friends lost, job lost, heart lost.

I’ve seen leaders who made the equation very simple: like me = liking Jesus, dislike me = disliking Jesus.

I’ve seen people in the Church say they want “strong leadership” but really mean “someone who will tell us exactly what we want to hear.”

I’ve seen people in the Church say they want a leader who can grow their church, as if we’re some kind of manufacturing enterprise that pops out disciples like widgets. And we happily reject the greatest joy in life, sharing Jesus through our lives with the people around us, in favour of hiring a professional to create programs that will make us grow.

Here’s a video by Peter Rollins that says a little about what I think about Christian Leadership…

I’m grateful to be part of a community, a family of followers who are willing to try this a different way.


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church, emerging church, God, jesus manifesto, Leadership, politics, postmodern, Rant, Relationship, religion, theology, truth, video. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Christian Leadership

  1. Michelle says:

    Take me to our leaders! (I think I’m a test subject).

    Good leaders are hard to find. You are a good leader Brian. Too often leaders talk a lot and seem very certain of their conclusions. Some people like these kinds of leaders but they intimidate me. I sense a certain closed or conditional quality about them.

    I shouldn’t be so quick to criticize though. I wouldn’t make a very good leader myself. Leaders need a clear vision of where they are going. I’d lead everyone in circles!

  2. Don Rousu says:

    Brian, I like the way you think. I like the way you write. Actually, I think I like you!

    I don’t even like the words “Christian leadership” — mostly because both of them have been worn out by human sin.

    I like to think that God wants followers of Jesus who are willing to have others follow them.

  3. Becky says:

    I love this article. You bring out some really great points about christian leadership.
    I think that even the most amazing leader often struggles at being a good leader and gets discouraged. I just finished reading a great book along this very topic… “The Gathering” by Ray Barnett. In my opinion I think that this book would be a tremendous help to pastors and leaders who are wondering why it is that, for all the effort they put in, they are not seeing the dynamic discipleship spoken of by Jesus. It offers a lot of great suggestions. You might find it interesting as well.

  4. sweetlybroken says:

    I’ve always thought the best leaders came from the best followers, of God’s heart. Someone once said to me that God chooses the least likely among us. Great post, I’m really enjoying that you continue to look back and share what’s changed since the original post. You are a brilliant writer.

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