Connecting Leadership Theory and Christian Ministry
"And the winner is…” Much of life involves competition of some sort. Candidates compete in athletic events, educational competitions such as spelling bees, or for seeking that next job which offers a higher salary and better benefits. In recent decades, the field of leadership has seen similar efforts. The idea of leadership is not a new one, however a number of models have been proposed with the hope that a more effective system might be found. Of course the circumstances and dynamics of each situation are unique. Consequently, finding the most appropriate leadership model for any particular structure requires a careful analysis. The three leadership models considered were: the being-centered leadership model, the spiritual leadership model, and the servant-leadership model. A critique of the three separate models identified servant-leadership as the most suitable theory for the unique characteristics of Christian ministry.
Leadership Models Analyzed
As the name implies, being-centered leadership approaches leadership on the basis of being, as opposed doing or having (Fry, & Kriger, 2009). This model is composed of five levels, with each higher level containing in the levels below (Fry, & Kriger, 2009). Fry, & Kriger (2009) describe these levels as both ontological (state of being), and epistemological (state of knowing). An epistemological (knowing) ascent through these levels appears as: Level V or sensible/ physical, Level IV or images, imagination, Level III or soul, Level II or spirit, and Level I or non-dual (Fry, & Kriger, 2009). As the leader comes to understand the next level, he can then begin to ontologically “be” in that level. For the sake of clarity, these levels move from the physical (Level V) to the concept of God (Level I), being designed in a five-level structure to incorporate and expand on accepted concepts in other leadership models (Fry, & Kriger, 2009).
Being-centered leadership takes into account the ontological structures of six different
religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism (Fry, & Kriger, 2009). Four of these religions are theistic, the other two are nontheistic (Fry, & Kriger, 2009). The being-centered leadership model requires not only the level of being in the leadership but it also depends on the process engaging all who are part of the system, enabling them to work in more meaningful ways with one another (Fry, & Kriger, 2009). The traditional hierarchical understanding of leadership organization is rejected in this model, considering all participants as possessing the potential for leadership as there being increases (Fry, & Kriger, 2009).
Spiritual leadership seeks to establish an organization of learning by using the inner motivations of the employees in order to achieve a transformation of the organization (Chen, and Yang, 2012). The spiritual leadership model accesses the need for spiritual survival, existing in all...