I have been exposed to lots of teaching in the last few years about what it means to be a leader in the church. I have always been sceptical about this because leadership doesn’t seem an especially dominant theme in the Bible. The Bible is very interested in architecture at certain sections but I have never attended a seminar on how to build Godly buildings. Leadership conferences often feature morally ambiguous teachers. Colin Powell is certainly a “leader” but how is he leading in a distinctively Christian manner? How has he led people towards the Kingdom of God? Aside of course from the fact that God first made himself known to Abram in Iraq…

So I have a growing suspicion that leadership talk is actually chatter informed more by the capitalist paradigm than something Christians should be chewing over for themselves. And from this lovely blog that I enjoy, I picked up a wonderful way of putting shape on my ill formed thoughts. Focusing on the leader of the body over the body is a pseudo-Catholic idea. The evangelical leader, like the priest is mediator between the people and God, the shepherd in the absence of Jesus on Earth. But Catholicism has an accountability structure built in (to use leadership-speak), in the form of apostolic succession.

In evangelicalism, the only functional test of leadership is popularity. Those that God blesses as his leaders are those that add numbers to their ministry. So evangelical Christian leadership has the worst of all worlds. Let me unpack it in terms that a leadership convention would appreciate (if nothing else than to show that I was paying attention). The operating leadership strategy that we implement leverages the one against the many but without the oversight of apostolic succession, we are left with our vision and goal being nothing more than success in tangible terms of people clients and investment.

Let me just point out that I am saying this tentatively as I am only starting to form my ideas on the subject. There is not a hint of anti-Catholicism in this thesis and if there is a critique of evangelicalism it is only intended as a self directed challenge.

Your Correspondent, Like seeing a coldsore at the kissing booth