2004, Vol. 1, No. 2
Message from the President:
The Way I See It
President and Professor of Intercultural Leadership
of God Theological Seminary
The study of leadership is a massive industry in our
nation. As with many current “hot topics,” the
popular culture that pervades our world has great influence
on the subject of leadership. An example might be the “free
gift” sent to me recently entitled the Leadership
Secrets of Santa Claus.
Parallel to the growth industry of leadership studies
is the decline of the respect for leaders in general.
Whether disgust is targeted at Enron, MCI, Arthur P.
Andersen or Catholic priests, the result can be seen
in the increasing number of Christian leaders who struggle
for the human and spiritual resources to navigate their
We do not work as leaders in the church with a static
reference point. The Church itself and the realities
of the world the churches serve are increasingly complex.
Pundits rush to describe these new realities and prescribe
formulas for effectiveness. We must be careful to avoid
the dilemma described by 1960s political activist Paulo
Freire when he said, “If to be is to be like,
then to be is to be like the oppressor.” In
other words, if you are limited to the models of leadership
that are most conveniently observed, you may lead like
those models observed, only in their most destructive
The quest for power (the potential for influence) is
central to consideration in any model of leadership.
As Christian leaders, it is not enough to acquire professional
skill or even biblical knowledge. Our task is to replicate
in character, purpose and motivation the ministry of
Jesus Christ. Skills are necessary and knowledge is foundational,
but Christian leadership also requires connectedness
to the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ to stay centered
on efforts that have eternal consequences.
While we must engage leadership perspectives from Harvard
Business Review to the Leadership Secrets of
Santa Claus (that is from the serious to the popular),
a steadfast reference point must remain the awareness
of the mission of Jesus Christ recorded for us in Scripture
and continuously empowered to this day by the Holy
Spirit. The equation of leadership inevitably requires
skill and knowledge, but for the Christian skill and
knowledge can never be separate from connection to
the present tense of Jesus and His redemptive mission,
guaranteed by Pentecost.
Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM