Bishop Whitaker on Church Leadership

Here are some thoughts on church leadership from Florida Area Bishop, Tim Whitaker (while responding to a survey from Bishop Schnase on what he was reading).  I agree:

 First, I believe that the all governance of the Church should be guided by theological commitments.  The church is not merely another human organization, but it is also a theological community.  Therefore, the primary direction for the life and mission of the Church should be determined by theological considerations.  This means that all techniques that come from business or other arenas should be appropriated only in the context of the meaning of the nature and mission of the Church.  Second, I believe that “leadership” is not an abstraction for which one can identify “principles” that are applicable to all kinds of communities and organizations.  Rather, leadership is guidance and oversight of a community that is indigenous to a particular community.  On this basis, I think the Church has its own tradition of  leadership.  If we wish to understand better how to lead the Church today, we should have a better understanding of leadership in the Church throughout the whole Christian tradition.  While Church leaders can indeed learn from CEO’s of corporations or generals of an army or political figures, we should know first and best the leaders of the Church over the years.

If our Church is committed to being the body of Christ in the world and not just interested in its own institutional survival, then we need a sense of the kind of leadership that is indigenous to the Church as a unique community in history that exists for the sake of the commission given to us by Christ.

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