Church leadership and administration: Beyond academic certifications – Part 2
Leadership, according to Sharma, et al (2013), is a process by which a person influences others, to accomplish an objective and directs the organisation in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.
However, Silva (2016) asserted that leadership is one of the concepts that are very hard to define. Whilst also quoting Volkmmann (2012), Silva (2016), made mention that there are approximately 1400 different definitions of the words leader and leadership. He then said that the numbers, whether real or exaggerated, simply mean that there is no consensus about what leadership is and therefore, the search for a better definition goes on.
Meanwhile, it has been shown that leadership is an evolving concept, but it could be satisfactorily defined as the process of interactive influence that occurs when, in a given context, some people accept someone as their leader to achieve common goals (Silva, 2016).
Four factors of Leadership
According to Sharma et al (2013), there are four major factors in leadership, which he referenced U.S. Army (1983). The four factors are: Leader, Followers, Communication and Situation.
As a Leader, you must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. It further says that it is the followers, not the leader or someone else, who determines if the leader is successful (Sharma et al, 2013). Therefore, to be successful, you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed (Sharma et al, 2013).
Sharma et al (2013), posited that in order to command respect among Followers, the fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation.
According to Sharma et al (2013), you lead through two-way Communication, in which much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when you “set the example”, that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything that you would not be willing to do (Sharma et al, 2013). What and how you communicate, either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees (Sharma et al, 2013).
Meanwhile, all Situations are different, for what you do in one situation, will not always work in another (Sharma et al, 2013). Sharma et al (2013), further posited that you must use your judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation.
Having established to some extent, the definition of leadership, it is, therefore, imperative, to apply this to the leadership of the church. According to Brown (accessed in 2018), while secular leadership is easy to understand, in which the power allows the leaders to rule over people, the true spiritual leadership is an exact opposite. Brown (accessed in 2018), asserted that Jesus did not come to be served, that He came to serve others. In that wise, while secular leadership requires more educational certifications, and periodic management training; the spiritual leadership, goes beyond that.
Shepherding in Church Leadership
The Bible says, but when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36). This Bible passage brought about the assertion of Heward-Mills (2014), when he says a shepherd is a caring loving guide to the sheep, and he is someone whom God has called to look after the sheep.
In the Bible, God’s people are called sheep, and He raises up men He calls shepherds, to look after these sheep (Heward-Mills, 2014). Therefore, the church leaders/Pastors are shepherds and not bosses. They are the ones, who will and must understand the behavioral pattern and the emotional attitude of the sheep, and who must act in such a manner to make them focus as God intended. This intention of God for the sheep (His children), is not built on academic and secular priorities, but it is purely on spiritualism. Therefore, while academic certification is the primary focus for secular leadership, for church leadership, spiritualism and Christian virtues are the centre points and they precede any educational qualifications. However, academic qualifications, enhance the value of the shepherd, when dealing with his followers and the larger public.
Being Paper Presented By Baba Aladura, Elder (Dr.) Israel Akinadewo (Omoeri), Prelate, Prophet and Supreme Head, Motailatu Church Cherubim & Seraphim Worldwide at the 2018 Sub-conference and to mark the 54th Anniversary of MCCSW on Thursday 14 – Saturday 16, 2018 at International Headquarters, Motailatu Close/Bus Stop Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.