Saturday, October 20, 2007



What is that anyway?

I'm wondering. Really, I am!

It is such a common concept - an idea everyone thinks that they understand. But ask ten people what they think good leadership looks like and you will get 53 answers. It's one of those ideas that are prevalent in society - upon which society is based really - ideas like freedom and love and loyalty - ideas that could mean diametrically opposite things depending on which crowd you hang with.

Dallas Willard talks about these ideas in this way in Renovation of the Heart

Now for all their importance to human life, ideas are never capable of definition or precise specification: and yet people never stop trying to define them in their vain efforts to control them. They are broadly inclusive historically developing ways of interpreting things and events which for all their power often do not emerge into the consciousness of the individual. Therefore it is extremely difficult for most people to recognize which ideas are governing their life and how those ideas are governing their lives.

I know the idea of leadership is hard to define. People seem to know when it is not there. Most of the time it is defined in the Type A personality profile of strong, assertive, productive leader - someone who knows where he (or she) is going and knows how to get there - and will get there, by God, no matter what gets in the way!

And then I wonder about Jesus and His leadership. He collected a group of twelve - and one betrayed him. Another denied him. He created a bit of a stir and then disappeared into the wilderness for awhile. When he came back they killed him. He walked around apparently aimlessly and was constantly sidetracked by people asking him questions. He hung out with low lifes and undesirables. He let his forward momentum be interrupted by a blind man and a tax collector in a tree. He was politically inexpedient and definitely politically incorrect. He said things that made no sense to most of the people around him and that required extensive explanation to even his closest associates.

People talk about the leadership style of Jesus. I really wonder what that means. I don't think it would work (or be welcomed) in most of the churches I know.

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