the weblog of Alan Knox

Why are we passionate about leadership?

Posted by on Apr 3, 2007 in elders, office | 19 comments

I’ve noticed a trend on my blog. Whenever I post something about leadership, that post is read more and receives more comments than other blog posts in general – even though I do not post on leadership very often.

For example, last Thursday, I posted a blog called “What does a bishop oversee?” On Friday, as a follow-up, I posted a blog called “The Church or the Organization?” In less than four days, this blog post was read by more people than other posts that have been on my blog for much longer (50% more than the next most read post, and climbing). Also, it now has the most comments of any of my other blog posts. In fact, five of my top ten most read blog posts are on the subject of leadership in the church (6 out of 10 if you count “Messy Meetings“.)

Why are we so passionate about leadership? Relatively, Scripture says little about specific leadership such as elders, bishops, etc. Certainly, there is more in Scripture about general leadership attitudes, especially in the Gospels. But, Scripture has much more to say about other topics, such as a believer’s conduct, or faith, or even eschatology (gasp!).

I do not know the answer to this. I have never been able to gauge the reaction of readers to my blog posts. Some posts that I am very passionate about, other people seem to have less interest (measured by the number of times the post is read and the number of comments it receives).

So, since I don’t know the answer, I hope to learn from you. I ask you to consider my question: Why are you and others passionate about leadership? Please, comment and let me know what you think.


19 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  2. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  3. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  4. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  5. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  6. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  7. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  8. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  9. 4-3-2007

    Alan-
    Maybe there is so much interest in leadership because we often see so little authentic leadership in our own lives/churches. Those of us in leadership want to know how to do it, and those in a “shepherded” role are bewildered by leaders who fail to lead. A frustrated friend once said that many who are supposed to lead are just standing up in front. I think he’s right.
    Too many Christian leaders are taking their cues from the business/industrial models they see all around them, and too many of their followers expect it of them. Instead, they should be looking at Jesus as their perfect role model. He served insead of demanding service. He modeled everything He wanted to teach His followers. He chose death over life for the sake of all men.
    If we are to lead like Jesus, we must die to our own vision, and live out His vision in us through the power of His Spirit.
    We may mouth the words to Philippians 3:10, but too often our actions don’t illustrate them.
    So-called leaders who elevate, isolate, and protect themselves are not leading. They are just standing in front.
    Kat

  10. 4-3-2007

    Alan,
    I think the interest stems from the lack of biblical leadership in our churches. If you blogged about, for example, the deity of Christ, you probably would not have too many hits. Why? Because we all (at least in the evangelical community) believe this and agree upon it. However, when we read our bibles and then look at our churches, we often see a discrepancy in leadership. I think one of the biggest problems is the clergy-laity split. We see the pastor(s) doing everything, and the lay people watching. This is hardly what Paul, in Ephesians 4:11-13, has in mind. In general, Christians are craving to be a part of the church as God intended it, and this seems to require biblical leadership. What do we do about this? We need to all set aside our notions of what leadership is, read the biblical text as clearly as possible, discuss this in the church, and then apply it. As we know, this is easier said than done.

  11. 4-3-2007

    I think its narcissistic because everyone is thinking it applies to themselves. j/k

  12. 4-3-2007

    So far, we have lack of authentic leaders, clergy/laity split, and narcissism.

    Ed,

    Speaking of narcissism… when will we see your mug shot on a blog?

    -Alan

  13. 4-3-2007

    Alan, while I can’t speak for everyone, I personally choose to comment when I feel like I have something to say that others might actually want to hear, er… read. That is to say, sometimes I feel as though I am too uninformed to comment intelligently. This explains the infrequency of my comments.

    As far as the popularity of leadership as a topic, I’d have to agree that the lack of authentic leadership makes us curious. Or, perhaps we aren’t sure what authentic leadership is, and we desperately want to find out whose paradigm is the right one.

  14. 4-3-2007

    Unlike Drew, I comment regardless, but I am an extrovert, and, when I’m with a computer, this is the one opportunity to “talk.”

    Based on my experience I think Eric is onto something. My posts on the Holy Spirit were similar to your posts on leadership in that they caused quite a stir in readership and commenting.

    I also think a lot of people search on certain topics. Do you see some of the referrals coming from google searches and the like?

  15. 4-3-2007

    Drew,

    I always appreciate your comments. Don’t sell yourself short. God can and has spoken to me through you many times.

    Bryan,

    I have had some searches based on leadership hit my blog. Most of the searches that hit my blog have more to do with the gathering of the church or edification. I’ve also gotten several lately about how God communicates to us.

    -Alan

  16. 4-3-2007

    Hi Alan,
    I found your blog through Steve’s, and although I read frequently, I have never commented here. That is mostly because I am here to learn and I have found your blog very useful. I appreciate the civil conversation and encouragement that occur here! However, on the topic of leadership, I probably go back to those articles often because after leaving the IC after 11 years, it helps to get other views on “what the problem is”. The information
    that you provide here has helped me to learn and grow!

  17. 4-3-2007

    kkmhmom,

    Welcome to my blog, and thank you for the encouragment. Feel free to comment here anytime.

    -Alan

  18. 4-4-2007

    Alan,
    I’ve been thinking through this question the past few days, so sorry for the late response. I find the model of leadership that Christ provided to be so contrary to human nature. Even the disciples themselves, who witnessed firsthand the servant example of Christ continued to argue among themselves who was the greatest and who would sit at the side of the Father. We see leadership as rulers and powers. To have Christ lay before us that we are to serve and love is difficult to understand. That’s my two cents.

  19. 4-4-2007

    Leah,

    I think you are right. The type of leadership that Christ described is contrary to human nature. Perhaps that is why we are so interested and passionate when it comes to discussions about leadership. I hope my passion will be for the leadership that Christ described and not for the leadership that accords with human nature.

    -Alan