Team Leadership from a Biblical Perspective

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Servant Leadership
The first thing to be considered in developing a theological understanding of team leadership is servant leadership. Servant leadership is at the heart of Christian leadership. Servant Leadership is different from servanthood. All Christians, not just leaders, are called to be servants, serving each other, following Jesus' example in washing his disciples' feet, and loving our neighbours as ourselves. Along with that call to servanthood is the need we each have to allow ourselves to receive from Jesus, just as he washed his disciple's feet. When Peter protested, Jesus told him, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' (John 13:8) In his inspiring book, Leadership: Trilogy on Leadership and Effective Management, Anthony D'Souza1 states: When discussing leadership and managerial skills, we need remind ourselves that Christian leadership essentially involves service. When we consider the church and/ or church related institutions, we grasp the concept of service. Yet when mention corporations and businesses, the word "service" sounds out of place. Part of the confusion may come from not understanding the true concept of leadership. For many, the word leadership connotes power, authority, honour, prestige, or personal advantage. That's not Christian Leadership. Here's my description of Christian Leadership. It Seeks to be of service, rather than to dominate;

Encourages and inspires;
Respects rather than exploits others' personalities;
Reflects, prays, and acts on Jesus Christ's words, "whoever wishes to be first among you, shall be servant, even as the son of man came not be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt 20:27).

What underpins servant leadership is the motivation behind our actions as leaders. If personal desire was the sole decision criteria, Jesus would have chosen not to go through the pain and suffering on the cross. In the garden at Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, 'Father if you are willing take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours, be done.'(Luke 22:42) The weight of the burden of taking not only our guilt but also our sins themselves, had become too heavy. Even at this point, Jesus could have got up and walked away. Jesus' leadership modelled�servant leadership�throughout his ministry. In the same vane, Dave Williams2, in his book, The Art of Pace Setting Leadership says: "Greatness is measured by a person's unselfish willingness to serve others" [15:1989]. This will require us also to set aside personal gain,�to make sacrifices, and to put the needs of others above the direction we may prefer for ourselves. There are people who are highly career minded, people whose main motivation is to get themselves in a position where they will gain some reward. This is the complete opposite of the leadership Jesus demonstrated. Some may suggest that servant leaders are weak.� However, nothing could be further from the truth. They�model integrity, where their thoughts, words and actions flow from a consistent desire. The word integrity comes from the Latin word meaning 'whole' or 'complete', as in integer, or whole number. One of the biggest reasons for leaders losing the respect of their followers is that the lack true integrity where their private lives and thoughts do not match their public statements, or that they are inconsistent, adopting principles that are popular and appropriate to the moment, rather than sticking to their underlying, but potentially unpopular, principles.�Maintaining integrity�is not always easy! Servant leadership is not a particular style of leadership, but rather relates to the motivation behind a leader's thoughts, words and actions. Leaders can fit any of the leadership styles described in several literature, and still be very much a servant leader. Servant leaders are not leaders on the basis of their position or leadership role, but rather lead according to their calling, vision and principles.� One of the challenges for...
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