Lessons on Leadership.

Leadership talk weird’s me out. Maybe it’s because whenever I think of leadership I picture older white males that are a little too self-confident. I have had a lot of bad experience’s with so-called “leaders”. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in a relatively short time it’s that if someone calls themselves a leader, they’re not.

  1. teadeum said:

    I hear what your saying. Plato says in “The Republic” something like true leaders only rise to positions of power and leadership only when they feel they cannot be silent or bear injustice any longer.

    That’s a far cry from many evangelical (or non-evangelical) Pastors, Deacons, and Elders, who are licking their chops to be in the spotlight.

    On the other hand I think it’s important for a person to recoginize his or her possible leadership potential and ability, and seek ways to encourage, influence and empower others. Although that desire often gets messed up with questionable motives.

  2. jt* said:

    Hey teadeum,

    I think what you pointed towards in your second paragraph is important and that’s kind of what I was getting at. Many so-called leaders are in said positions because they like to be in positions of power, control, privilege etc. Here, there is generally (in my experience) a lack of humility and servitude (and love for others!).

    As far as I’m concerned when people strive after these sorts of positions it’s generally not a good thing (attitudes of trying to ‘climb the ladder’ etc). I’m not trying to knock leadership here, I’m just saying that I think ideally it would be healthier if people came to these sorts of places organically and out of a humble development of gifts and talents.

    Anyways, thanks for your input, and if you don’t mind me asking, do we know each other? I can’t tell from your picture as it’s a little small!

    Grace and peace,


  3. teadeum said:

    Hi JT,

    I think these are some real good points you raise in regards to leadership, that definately need to be talked about more, especially in context of modern ministry.

    Can you think of or offer and good examples of contemporary church leadership that really stand out to you?

    I don’t think we personally know each other. I noticed on your blog that you have a large Tyndale connection on your blog roll. I went to Tyndale from 2000-2004 and worked at the Salvation Army Gateway for a few years down on Jarvis Street.

    Anyway, hope you have a very Happy New Year!!


  4. jt* said:

    Hmmm, some good examples of this happening?

    Well I think it’s helpful to think of church leadership in terms of a totem pole. Traditionally (in my experience at least) much of the western evangelical church has structured its leadership around a business-like CEO style leadership. Essentially this is a top down leadership model. The Sr. Pastor or whatever is at the top and somewhat disconnected from the rest of the congregation which leads to all sorts of problems. At any rate, I think it’s helpful to take this approach and turn it sideways. For example, rather than thinking of a totem-pole upright think of it laying on it’s side. Here there isn’t so much of a hierarchy as there are divisions based upon gifts and things of that nature. Naturally then I think church leadership is something best nurtured when the body is functioning together.

    So really I think any local church that is seeking to come at leadership matters from this sort of approach is on a healthy track. Off hand I can think of local churches that some friends are involved with from Sarnia to Hamilton to Toronto where this sort of thing is being worked out. Ultimately, I think it’s an ethos thing. The church that I used to be “on staff” at was very much a top-down CEO style leadership and I found it very unhealthy.

    I also went to Tyndale, from 2002-2006. I have some friends, the Bulloch’s who are also at Gateway! Cool!

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