Tuesday, 8 February 2011

What type of leader

I have just listened to the first video briefing on leadership from Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in the States.

It is helpful in outlining his tri-perspectival view of Christian leadership:
  1. Prophetic - focuses on Bible teaching
  2. Priestly - focuses on counselling
  3. Kingly - focuses on administration
His point is that we need to discern which we tend towards, not criticise the others as lacking, but ensure our leadership teams reflect all three.

Of course such categorising is inevitably reductionistic (as no doubt Driscoll would acknowledge), and should not be criticised because of that, but rather appreciated for the simple wisdom it brings and that is consistent with 1 Corinthians 12.

Having said that, two thoughts did occur to me.
  1. The first was that we should be wary of just saying we are say prophetic leaders, and look to others to make up the rest. Interestingly Revelation speaks of all God's people being priests and kings. So we should at least pray for help in developing these sides to our character and leadership. After wall, we are to be Christlike and he was all three.
  2. The interpretation of the priestly form is I think most questionable. In Romans 15 Paul uses the term 'priest' in leadership to refer to 'proclaiming the gospel of God,' and one need only think of the priests in Nehemiah explaining the law to the people. Moreover, the stress on caring within the NT comes under the banner of being shepherds of God's flock. Yet this has a particular kingly focus stemming from David, Ezekial 34 and seen in the role of being stewards over God's house or elders who are called to 'rule.' It leaves me wondering whether, consistent with the two anointings of the OT which are fulfilled in the title of Christ and played out in the church, there are only two key perspectives we should aspire to: priests who stand between God and man, offering themselves in preaching and praying, and kings who rule, govern and offer particular care to the flock. Interestingly, this seems born out by the two types of Elder in 1 Timothy that are made much of in Presbyterianism - the teaching elder and the ruling elder.
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