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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Redemptive Leadership

redemption: the act, process, or an instance of redeeming; to free from what distresses or harms; to free from captivity by payment of ransom through sacrifice; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to release; to free from the consequences of sin; to change for the better; to exchange.

The Theory

Leadership is influence in relationship. There are countless theories of leadership, though many are hailing Servant Leadership as the most Biblical. If it is Biblical is it universal? If universal should it not apply to the influence military leaders have in their spheres of influence as well? With so many military ministries (and even secular institutions) now advocating Servant Leadership as the model best describing Christ-like leadership I felt compelled to contemplate what really is being advocated. After two years of academic study focused on this model I have learned that there is not one common, universally accepted definition; the spectrum of understanding when using the term spans from secular presuppositions to those with well-meaning Biblical intentions. However, I have become skeptical that no matter where it is that an individual’s worldview resides in relation to servant leadership theory their understanding of the concept is most certainly incomplete, or at a minimum insufficient. The fundamental issue stems from the failure to disassociate the means of leading from the ends of leadership. Put it another way, the problem resides in the confusion that serving others as a leader (or leading others as a servant) is the culmination, the end state and focus of the essence of leadership. I submit, that there is more based on Jesus’ statement of His primary reason for serving saying, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for the redemption of many” (Matt. 20:28, the Greek word lutron is translated as ransom paid to redeem or redemption). Jesus was a Lutron Leader - a Redemptive Leader. I would submit that's exactly what kind of leader we should endeavor to be and it's the exact model I am going to take some time to write about this week. I believe it to be the best model to effectively and adequately capture Christ-like leadership. If you have questions or comments, as always, leave a post and I will be sure to try my best to address them. Lead to Redeem!