作者: Florin Docea
Category: 领袖培训, 职场服事, 正直与谦卑
This Occasional Paper presents a discussion on the current shortage of Christ-like leaders in the church and encourages specific action. The paper tackles the questions why, who, what, and how:
After these questions are discussed, the paper urges churches, universities, and Christian organizations to make Christ-like, culturally appropriate leadership-development a top priority.
The occasional paper had several personally beneficial ideas including (a) it is difficult to measure leadership development progress, (b) if leadership is the process of influencing others toward a goal, then every person has the ability to influence at least one other person in specific circumstances at a particular time, and (c) it seems the best leadership opportunities do not often follow formal organizational structures.
Although the beneficial ideas mentioned above would provide ample material for further discussion, the focus of this paper will be on two stimulating questions that emerged from sections 3.3 and 8.2:
Q1: What type of leader was Jesus?
Starting with the basic assumptions that Jesus is the ideal model for leadership and that Dr. Elliston’s classification of leadership is accurate and valid, then it is reasonable to discuss how Jesus does or does not fit the classification model. This discussion, however, is complicated by the fact that one can look at Jesus’ leadership during his earthly ministry as well as pre and post incarnation [John 1]. Due to the immensity of the topic and the limitations of this paper, the discussion below will be very brief and will only introduce a few key observations from Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Looking at Jesus’ earthly ministry, it can be said that his leadership fits in Dr. Elliston’s five-level model but not in a hierarchical fashion; in other words, Jesus did not grow from one level into another (as many people would tend to think of the classification) but rather he exhibited all types (in no particular order) based on the specific circumstances he was facing. Here are some supporting considerations:
(1) Small group leader: although Jesus preached to many people, he had a small group of learners in whom he invested his time and energy [Matthew 12:49]; although the number of followers changed over time [John 6:66-69], Jesus continued to be a small group leader until the end of his earthly ministry.
(2) Self-supporting local supervisor: Jesus directed the work of his disciples; Jesus instructed his core group to provide for the needs of the multitude, and he sent workers out on a mission trip [Matthew 10]. The key word “self-supporting” can be seen when Jesus uses the coin from a fish’s belly to pay for taxes [Matthew 17:27].
(3) Full-time leader: it’s hard to think of Jesus as anything less than “full-time”; the last three years of his life were spent in total commitment of his work [Luke 9:57-62]. Additionally, it is evident that from an early age, he was doing his Father’s business [Luke 2:49] even though he did not start his public ministry until the age of 30.
(4) Regional leader: as Jesus traveled he impacted entire regions. His impact was not only personal and direct but also indirect through his disciples [Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 1:28]. Because of his great works, he was well known throughout many regions.
(5) National leader: Jesus was recognized by many people as the national leader of Israel. This recognition was not only towards the end of his earthly ministry [Luke 24:45-46], but it occurred before his birth with Mary and Joseph, at his birth [Matthew 2:11; Luke 2], and during his ministry with the declarations that Jesus was “the Messiah” [John 1:41; Mark 8:29]. Additionally, Jesus was recognized as a national leader by a prominent religious leader, Nicodemus [John 3] and the Roman Governor Pontus Pilate [John 19:19].
Q2: What exactly are “Christ-like strategies”?
For Christians, it is reasonable to desire the pursuit of Christ-like strategies. Because Jesus is the ideal model for leadership, it is natural for us, as his disciples, to yearn for the implementation of Christ-like strategies. The words express a desire to “keep the focus on Christ” [Lausanne section 8.2]; this goal is easy to state, simple to grasp conceptually, but the implementation may prove a little more challenging [Ferguson, p.51]. There are several challenges in understanding what “Christ-like strategies” are.
First, we have a challenge in understanding the terminology. In a secular business administration context, “strategy” implies a master plan, devised by business leaders, that is actionable, to accomplish a specific goal. This approach does not translate exactly in a Christian context. When it comes to the work of the Holy Spirit, we are not the “master planners” – God is. For example, Paul and the Holy Spirit had the same goal – to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ; however, Paul’s missionary plan was redirected by the Holy Spirit [Acts 16:6-10]. Similarly, in our modern times, we see evidence of large scale Holy Spirit movement in Latin America [Escobar, p16] that is not the result of human strategy. Christian strategy starts with cultivating “…the basic spiritual disciplines that contribute to growing intimacy in our relationship to Jesus Christ…” [Lausanne section 8.2]
A second challenge is having a full understanding of Jesus’ strategy during his earthly ministry. This is difficult because Jesus left some things unsaid [John 16:12]. We know he had one goal [John 12:27]; we know he was determined to do only the Father’s will [John 4:34]. We also know we have some tasks to accomplish, but we are not always told the master plan. For example, Job never found out God’s master plan (i.e. why he suffered) but he was fully aware of what he needed to do. Therefore it is feasible that we may not be aware of the master plan, but only know what we (personally) are called to do as part of the global movement that is driven by God [Pocock, p. 156]. A third challenge is our human tendency to know, control, and be in charge of the master plan. Having and controlling the strategy may be the exact opposite of Christ-like strategy. Therefore the challenge is to continue to explore Christ-like strategies without being pulled toward a human-effort strategy by the traditional definition and common (best) practices of “strategy definition”.
The following are five personal observations regarding traditional strategy definition versus Christ-like strategy.
Traditional Strategy Definition
Starts with a “visioning exercise”
Focused on controlling all variables
Based on “high power” decision making
Often driven by “the bottom line”
Characterized by a leader with a vision and a plan
Starts by observing the movement of the Holy Spirit
Focus on listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit
Based on humility and the prompting of the Holy Spirit
Driven by the Holy Spirit
Characterized by a leader who follows the Holy Spirit
Escobar, Samuel, “The New Global Mission”, InterVarsity Press, 2003
Ferguson, Dave, and Ferguson, Jon, “Exponential”, Zondervan, 2010
Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 41, “A Call to Develop Christ-Like Leaders”, Pattaya, Thailand, 2004
Pocock, Michael, Van Rheenen, Gailyn, and McConnell, Douglas “The Changing Face of World Missions”, Baker, 2005