Wednesday, February 08, 2012

the theological prejudice against the word leadership

A lovely, provocative quote from the current College Principal, Andrew Dutney, summing up some of the resistance to Uniting College deciding to call itself in 2008 the Uniting College of Leadership and Theology.

Everyone knew that “leadership” was a worldly fad that a real theological college would have nothing to do with. Most of the literature (though not all) came from America – and especially the tainted world of business. Most of the Christian literature on leadership (though not all) came from evangelical and Pentecostal churches – and although we describe the Uniting Church as catholic, reformed and evangelical we don’t mean that kind of evangelical. Most of it (but not all of it) was a popular, exhortative style – heavy on anecdote and light on intellectual rigour. From the perspective of a real theological college “leadership” was almost a dirty word.

In Andrew Dutney, A Genuinely educated ministry. Effective leaders for a healthy, missional church. New Updated Preface, page 5.

Posted by steve at 05:52 PM


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    Pingback by sustain:if:able kiwi ยป the theological prejudice against the word … | — February 8, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  2. Many people associate leadership with authority and authority with power and power with bad. The cynical age we live in, I guess. All these words are good in themselves, but have become tainted; in need of redemption, perhaps.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — February 9, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  3. Interesting thanks Chris. We talked in class today how Paul in 1 Cor 3 called the church in Corinth a temple – in a city filled with pagan temples. An example of taking a tainted word perhaps and seeking to give it redemption?


    Comment by steve — February 9, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

  4. Yep, there is certainly a cultural aversion to use of the word leadership. Our church is based on home groups and I can’t get people to be “leaders” … they will agree to be “facilitators”.

    Paul says that there are a variety of gifts given according to God’s grace and one of those is leadership (Romans 12:8) and leaders are meant to do it with diligence, but perhaps the dominating verse is Paul’s indifference to the value of leaders in Galatians 2:6 … “those leaders contributed nothing to me.” ๐Ÿ™

    Comment by Mark Illingworth — February 10, 2012 @ 7:58 am

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