PersonalTheology of Leadership
PersonalTheology of Leadership.
Inthe modern society, leadership is one of the areas that is greatlylacking or is misunderstood. Since I was a young boy, I have alwaysadmired great leader especially those who fought for the rights andfreedoms of the weak and the less fortunate member of theirsocieties. I have however, learned that one cannot be a good leaderwithout having guiding principles that they follow in articulatingthemselves and guiding others. I have grown up in Christian familyand a predominantly catholic neighborhood. As I was growing up I havebeen involved in the youth ministry as well as my school’s youthprograms. This is where I realized I made a good example to others,as I always came naturally to me in all the meeting as I found myselfbeing selected by the others to represent them in various school andchurch initiatives.
Inwriting this responsive essay on my personal theology of leadership,I began by defining my understanding of theology of leadership andthe give my thoughts on the subject. Secondly I also inferred thesuccess of two leaders and reflect on how their leadership styleshave impacted on generations that have used their works to lead. Thepaper will look at an in-depth explanation of my personal theology ofleadership which borrows heavily from the works of Mother Theresa andMartin Luther King Jr.
Definitionof Theology of leadership
ThePocketDictionary of Theological Termsdefine Theology as the systematic and ordered interpretation of theChristian faith and experience of God based on God`s self-revelation(Grenz,David & Chereth, 1999).Tony Morgan (2012), in his scholarly works defined leadership as theprocess where an individual can influence a group of people toachieve a common goal. The understanding derived from the twodefinitions are that the theology of leadership can therefore bedefined as the ability to understand God`s will for his peoplecoupled with leadership to serve the will or the wish of the group orsociety. Using this knowledge I will be able to describe and outlinethe impact of two of the servant leaders works to show how they haveimpacted on my leadership understanding. Using their example and theunderstanding of God’s teachings on leadership and theology and howit helps me express myself as well as influencing others through myactions.
Today,there lies a hidden challenge of leadership in that most leadersforget that their interests are second to the interests of the largergroup they are leading. In my understanding theology of leadership isthe proclamation of the supremacy of God in our actions andutterances with the guidance of his words. Today`s population is welleducated and empowered to interpret and understand God`s will onleadership (Morgan, 2012). Informed Leadership sets an example to theothers and the younger generations on how to lead and how to identifythe true leaders amidst them. In understanding the leadership stylesof these two most effective and pivotal leaders in the recent pasti.e. Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr, An analysis of theirimpact on leadership today will be done.
TheologicalLeadership as demonstrated by Martin Luther King Junior and MotherTeresa
Historyis characterized by leaders who took charge of difficult situationsin order to help their people. Both Martin Luther King Junior andMother Teresa are perfect examples of such individuals who foughtagainst oppression and societal discrimination. Essentially, thesetwo serve as perfect examples for servant leadership, leadership byexample and social empowerment.
MotherTeresa was a perfect model of the servant leadership theory as shegave up her career as a teacher to champion the rights of the poorand the less fortunate (Funk, 2013). Mother Teresa knew that byserving the less fortunate, she was serving God and creating anexample for the rest of the world to follow and fight societalinequality. On the other hand, Martin Luther King, Jr. while workingas a Baptist preacher, taught the message of liberation anddeliverance from the bondage of classism, racism, and socialoppression (Carson, 1987). He empowered his people to know that God`slove is for everyone and His will was that we all live in harmonywithout any form of discrimination.
Thesetwo leaders dedicated their lives toward the fight and struggles ofthe masses. They used their leadership position to spread the messageof hope and belief of a better future. The encouraged their followersto assist and support each other in fulfilling the objectives of thegroup as whole. All leaders are servants of the people under them.The Bible further states that leaders cannot be anything else butservant leaders.
"Beshepherds of God`s flock that is under your care, serving asoverseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as Godwants you to be not greedy for money, but eager to serve notlording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to theflock."(1st Peter 5:2-3 NIV)
Thismodel of leadership according to the Bible is likened to that of ashepherd and his flock. The leader should not impose his power on thepeople for personal gain or to enslave the people (Morgan, 2012).Jesus championed this style of leadership and taught the same to hisdisciples. These are the same principles MartinLuther King Junior and Mother Teresa used in their leadership andhence the success their followers gained.The key to servant leadership is having an attitude of humilityrather than selfish interests (Morgan, 2012). It takes confidence andhumility to accept God`s will and the fact that people`s needs may bedifferent from yours. This logic forms the basic and fundamentalguidance of the leader towards his followers. He ought to not onlyfollow the wisdom learned from the Bible and religious texts but alsothe voice of the people.
Aleader should also nurture their followers to succeed. Moreover, theyshould be the role models of the people they lead. Both MartinLuther King Junior and Mother Teresa are good examples of leaders whohad a huge impact of their followers as well as the moderngenerations. They had displayed leadership traits like Humility,Selflessness, Eloquence, Courage, and Strength and showed Authorityin their speech and actions. They led the people to fight and followthem through their religious understanding of God’s will. And alsohad so many people even the non believer’s support their cause asit was directed towards the creation of an equal society without anyform of social or economic discrimination.
Religious,Social and Economic Empowerment
Leaderswho empower their people believe in three fundamental truths (Morgan,2012). The first thing is that leadership is God-ordained and lessabout the individual, leadership is more on the people being led thanabout the leader, and finally, that leadership is more about thesynergy of the body of Christ than of the individual leader.
"Theirresponsibility is to equip God`s people to do His work and build upthe church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all cometo such unity in our faith and knowledge of God`s Son that we will bemature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard ofChrist" (Ephesians 4:12-13 NIV)
Asa leader, the nourishment of the physical body is not enough withouthaving a strong foundation of religious belief. This ensures that thesociety lives in harmony restricting them from discrimination oneanother socially, economically or politically. In the book ofCorinthians, Paul teaches that each person is blessed with one ormore gifts of the Holy Spirit. In addition to that, Paul uses thehuman body as a metaphor to explain how all parts of the body areimportant and have to work together (Morgan, 2012).
Inall societies, the understanding and the adherence of existingreligious wisdom is key in the success of any leader. As shown by theworks of both MartinLuther King Junior and Mother Teresa, their trust in God and thefollowing of his teaching on leadership led to their success. To methe servant leadership, leading by example and empowerment of thepeople through God’s texts is the greatest for of theology ofleadership. The guidance of all masses through God’s holy words isthe greatest accomplishment a leader can have and that is whattheological leadership should be.
Carson, C. (1987). Martin Luther King, Jr.: Charismatic leadership in a mass struggle. The Journal of American History, , 74 (2), 448-454.
Funk, J. R. (2013, November 9). A True Servant Leader: Mother Teresa. Retrieved from Penn State: https://sites.psu.edu/leadership/2013/11/09/a-true-servant-leader-mother-teresa/
Grenz, J. G., David G & Chereth f. N., (1999). Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, 1st ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 113.
Morgan, T. (2012). Developing a Theology of Leadership. Dallas: Tony Morgan.