This document considers the subject of leadership, both Christian and secular, and asks if the church can learn and benefit from secular ideas about leadership. It asks what are the qualities required of a leader and comes to the conclusion that many of these are linked directly to the functions of a leader. It considers the historical picture of leadership within the church and how church leadership has changed over time. It then asks if the present pattern of church leadership needs to change and if so why and how. Differences between the two styles of leadership, secular and Christian are considered. These include differences in motivation as well as style and practicalities and also in response and relationships. There are aspects of leadership which only seem to fit into a secular pattern and others only into a church one. There are also some which require some adaptation to fit from one to the other. Thought leadership is mentioned, that is the idea that leadership does not necessarily come from a position held, but from ideas pursued until they come to have great influence, such influence bearing no relationship to the person’s official status or standing. The essay looks too at historical patterns of leadership within the church, including patterns described by Christ and his apostle Paul, as evidenced in the pages of the New Testament, the Gospels, the Book of Acts and the Epistles, as well as what happened during the first centuries of the church. It looks also at the role of women in the church, Biblically, historically and in current practice. It asks about the differences between secular and Christian leadership. It then considers which aspects of the former are not useful in church life, as well as considering those that are. The conclusion reached is that there are certain aspects of secular leadership which can be useful in a church setting, although perhaps carried out in a different way or with a different...
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