Christian leadership as servanthood
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Contrary to the contemporary Kenyan cultural understanding of leadership as an avenue for exercising power and control, and the Pentecostal belief that a church leader is above others in spiritual status and authority, hence reducing leadership to mainly give directions and sometimes commands, the scriptural call to Christian leadership is a call to Servanthood. To legitimize contemporary authoritarian leadership styles, the scriptures, and traditional African cultural practices are cited as justification for the practice of authoritarian leadership.
This paper researches the principle of Servanthood in Christian leadership in order to develop a guiding philosophy for leadership in the Pentecostal churches of Kenya. Towards this end, a better understanding for the term "servant" is developed. Secondly, addresses a prevalent problem within Christian leadership in Kenya-that church leaders view themselves as bosses rather than as servants.
This paper shows that Servanthood is not something to be disdained but a biblical virtue to be strived for by every Christian leader, and by extension, by all leaders in Kenyan society as well.
In Chapter 1, historical, contemporary, and theological contributors to this understanding are addressed. Traditional leadership structurefthat had a sharing power base, with service to the community as their moving force, are presented.
Chapter 2 addresses the biblical concept of Servanthood. Biblical terms that describe leaders in both the Old and New Testaments as servant leaders are analyzed. Jesus' views on servant leadership are highlighted.
Chapter 3 looks at the characteristics of a servant leader. Such leaders are: called and chosen by God; disciples; stewards; and leaders who empower others for the work of ministry.
Chapter 4 integrates and applies what has been uncovered in the preceding chapters. Both negative and positive implications of the concept of servant leadership for Kenyan Pentecostal churches and for Kenyan society at large are explored. The means for bringing about changes in the leadership styles of both church and society are discussed.
The conclusion drawn is that with a better understanding of Servanthood, positive changes will not only occur in the Pentecostal church but also, in the social, economic, and spiritual realms of Kenyan society well.