Has Jesus called the Church to positional leadership?

This write-up was borne out of various occurrences – where people have to fight dirty because of the feelings for importance, based on the level of positions that each of them occupy.

When we talk about the church, we are talking of an organised group of people that believe in the deity of God with a pattern of fellowship that connotes Christianity, and if we trace the origin of the church to Jesus Christ, we will see some things that disapprove positional leadership.

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:20-28, NKJV).

If you read the passage above, you can continue reading this piece but if you did not read it, please, go over it one more time and understand it.

From this passage, we have every proof to say that Jesus did not mandate the church to appoint people for the purpose of filling positions (should we have to stretch the meanings in this passage – we would not get over it at once, but kindly follow the thought of this work properly).

What is the style of leadership from Jesus which the church is expected to follow?

It is servant leadership: check this out, “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:25-28, NKJV).

You will see that the method of leadership postulated by Jesus Christ was servant-leadership and since that any organised system of the society must have hierarchy of authority for effective administration: it becomes necessary for the Church to know the type of leadership that they are to operate.

Today, so many leaders in the church exact authority on the people that they lead with the mindsets that they got to those positions because they were better than the followers. To the extent that some of these leaders are controlling the privacy, as well as, abusing the fundamental human rights of some of their followers.

As a result of the positions that some people occupy in the church, they always direct attention to themselves: they are always mindful of their persons, insulting the followers’ sense of personality at will and are quick at pin-pointing a mis-deed (against their persons) which they think that their followers committed against them. These mis-deeds are usually the assumptions of those leaders, because often time, the followers meant nothing toward their person.

Positional leadership: its relevance to the church

In its totality, it is not that positional leadership is detrimental to the church, but we only tried to reveal what so many leaders are doing wrongly with their positions. Without a position too, some people will not obey orders from their leaders.

So, we could say that – positions, sometimes, help the church to be effective. Only when position is used by leaders to manipulate the followers to their advantage, all in the bid for image building, then positional leadership is unchristian.

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