Why Christian leadership is “Christian” why it is “leadership”

July 21, 2012

Today’s post is the final part of a six-part series exploring the question: What makes Christian leadership distinctly “Christian” and what makes Christian leadership distinctly “leadership?”.

Here are links to the previous five posts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Identity in Christ
  3. Part of the Flock
  4. Service and Sacrifice
  5. Knowing the Dark Side

What makes Christian leadership 'Christian' and what makes christian leadership 'leadership'


With these four distinctions about what makes Christian leadership distinctly “Christian” and what makes Christian leadership distinctly “leadership,” the key is for Christian leaders to live it out.

Due to the fact that leaders are often out in front, everyone has a clear view of them.[1] That means leaders are often judged more harshly and more strictly. Thus, when they fall, it is more severe. While engaging others on Twitter and Facebook about the topic of this paper I felt a tension from others that Christian leadership does not exist because it is not practiced.[2]

This is an issue that must be addressed.

Often people’s only interaction (that they realize) with Jesus is in the observation or interaction with the lives of leaders whom they may or may not personally know. This means Christian leaders must make sure they live out the four distinctions. Christian leaders do not have to be perfect, but they do need to make a conscious effort to live out what Christian leadership is: an identity in Christ, part of the flock, serve and sacrifice, and knowing the dark side.

(for entire blog series)

Blackaby, Henry and Richard Blackaby. Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on God’s Agenda. Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2001.

Elliot, Steven. “The Local Church – Part 3.” Bible study, Enclave Community Church, Turlock,   CA, June 3, 2012.

Heifetz, Ronald A. and Marty Linsky. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the   Dangers of Leading. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review, 2002.

Kinnison, Ph.D., Quentin P. “How can God transform our weaknesses?” Lecture, Fresno Pacific University North Center, Fresno, CA, May 17, 2012.

___. “Shepherd or One of the Sheep: Revisiting the Biblical Metaphor of the Pastorate.” Journal of Religious Leadership 9, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 59-91.

___. “What is the secret of Christian leadership? How can we survive? What does Jesus teach us?” Lecture, Fresno Pacific University North Center, Fresno, CA, June 7, 2012.

___. “When is the leader not ‘in front of’, but ‘in the midst of’?” Lecture, Fresno Pacific University North Center, Fresno, CA, May 31, 2012.

Lawrence, William D. “Distinctives of Christian Leadership.” Bibliotheca Sacra July—     September (1987), 317-329.

“Luke 22 ‘NET Notes.’” The NET Bible. https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Luke+22 (accessed June      14, 2012).

Maciariello, Joseph. “Lessons in Leadership and Management from Nehemiah.” Theology Today 60 (2003), 397-407.

McIntosh, Gary L. and Samuel D. Rima. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2007.

Nouwen, Henri J.M. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. New York:          Crossroads Publishing, 1989.

Tidball, Derek. “Leaders as Servants: a Resolution of the Tension.” Evangelical Review of             Theology 36, no. 1 (2012), 31-47.

“Strong’s Greek: 1247. Diakoneo – to serve, minister.” Biblos.        http://concordances.org/greek/1247.htm (accessed June 13, 2012).

“Strong’s Greek: 2233. Hegeomai – to lead, suppose.” Biblos.         http://concordances.org/greek/2233.htm (accessed June 13, 2012).

                [1] In class Quentin talked about the true shepherd as part of the flock is now always in front but sometimes behind and in the middle. Regardless of where she is stationed often people still know who the leader is.

                [2] One person on Facebook said he believes only 9 percent of the Christian population actually pursue living a life as Jesus did while another individual said that Christian leaders do not exist.

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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