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Christian Leadership Competencies need Substantial Change

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stephen kendal

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The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise to the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act a new. We must disenthrall ourselves, and we shall save our country (Abraham Lincoln 1862).

 

Periodically all of us irrespective of religious belief whether it be Christian or non-Christian (and those who do not have a religious belief) need to stand back from the hurly burly of daily business, and other aspects of living to determine those leaderships skills which need rejuvenation if leaders can succeed in future circumstances.  The approach of the Christmas and end of year is traditionally appropriate for this to be done.

 

For example Christian ideas have prevailed over a long history of social change but Christian ideas have never been relied on sufficiently as a principal source of enlightenment and therefore the competency of national leaders at the political level, in the corporations and small businesses, the trade unions and other critical areas such as the military.

 

Christianity has been relegated to a back seat for much the time because of the strong conviction of many of the need for a strong secular state and the poor record of Christians in persuading much society that Christian thinking should play a very strong part in adult leadership formation. Christians have found it very difficult to compete with the realists and pragmatic when it comes to influencing top-level leaders and this has been the situation for a very long time and may well continue if nothing is done.

 

Christians also have had in the past a sad history of denominationalism and discrimination.  In recent years much more of an attempt has been made to improve tolerance and dialogue between the different groups of Christians as well as with non Christian religions and of course atheists and agnostics. The result has meant a great improvement for human progress and better understanding and tolerance. For some Christians this has meant a revolution in approach.

 

Nevertheless Christians still stumble over basic questions over unity. Much of the modern discussion concerning ecumenism has not led to significant changes in the number and divisions between the long established groups. This is a great disappointment for those seeking a more adult and permanent solution which if mature should also include many more examples of different groups joining together even using methods of governance that reflect the common nature of the beliefs when held by so many.

 

Too many have given priority to realists who are content to develop approaches, which only recognise for example immediate physical realities. Christians should be prepared to better equip their thinking to provide relevant inspired and orthodox ideas that can answer individual and community concerns.

 

Realism is not necessarily anti-Christian because it is a concern based on observation of nature that all Christians maintain was created by God. Christian leaders therefore need to take up such a challenge to better foster leadership in the community, which recognises the benefits of their inspired thinking.

 

Christians should not be prepared -to let others do their thinking this is the lazy way out. Christians can correct this for example through better continuing and resourcing of Christian think tanks Christian based universities and professional bodies.

 

 

As a further suggestion it might be a good idea that all Christian Clergy when being trained for their role in future be trained together for at least part of their training before going to serve the various groups which they believe they are called to. This could be achieved quite readily in some instances. The final emphasis on their training would be depth and tolerance (all desirable qualities for Christian clergy).  Other aspects of the development of clergy also need support and encouragement.

 

In conclusion Christians could offer more discernment and be better suited to guidance of families and the nation if regular effort were made to rejuvenate and review the effectiveness of Christian inspired thinking and values to help individuals and society a long life’s pathways.  The leadership skills of those of other religions and others of no particular religious belief may even be a source  for Christians to be better leaders if such believers are tolerant and discerning and learn from other people’s approaches.