the weblog of Alan Knox

How do you view leadership among the church?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 in discipleship, elders, office | 11 comments

How do you view leadership among the church?

I occasionally write about leadership among the church. While I usually write about other topics, for some reason the leadership posts seem to garner the most attention. Why? Well, because among believers today, much of church life is centered around those who we recognize as our leaders.

If you’ve read any of my posts about leaders among the church, then you know that I don’t hold to modern concepts of leadership in the context of the church, not even to the concept of “servant-leader.” Why? Because I think Jesus redefined what it means to lead among the church.

Keith at “subversive1” seems to have a similar understanding according to his post “This is What Leadership Looks Like According to Jesus.”

The post consists of 4 pictures: 2 pictures that Keith describes as “leadership according to Jesus” and 2 pictures that Keith says represent leadership among the church today, but that is not leading according to Jesus.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Keith’s post (pictures).


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

  1. 8-24-2011

    Leadership is serving, period. I used to believe in the concept of “servant-leader” as well, but now I see it as simply servant. The leading comes out of the example of service, because we are not called to lead one another, but to serve one another.

  2. 8-24-2011

    I’d say that the two pictures are a little bit simplistic.

    While Jesus came to serve, he didn’t serve everyone everything. He did did what He saw his father doing.

    He lived what we taught. His life was an example, and being a transparent example is one aspect of leadership.

    Jesus was a teacher, but he didn’t teach everybody everything. I feel he intentionally taught offensive things (eat my body/drink my blood). The question as to why he did this would be worth exploring. My guess is he wanted only those the Father granted to Him. I think this speaks to the desire to only work with those God has put us together with, not to get the biggest crowd ever enticed by things like great media or lots of bread.

    He wasn’t afraid to expose false teachers/prophets for what they were.

    These are all three things that I see very little of.

  3. 8-24-2011

    Leaders are those who live as examples for others to follow. Serving others is one way someone can be a good example. Loving, encouraging, disciple-making would be others. And of course writing consistently good blog posts. :) Thanks Alan for leading in some ways, even though you’ve never washed my feet.

  4. 8-24-2011

    A picture is worth a thousand Vision Statements.

  5. 8-24-2011


    Such leadership, as portrayed in the pictures,is far more effective, as an example of how to live and function,in making disciples, and in dealing with the difficult issues, than the authoritarian legalism shown in many, maybe most, traditional situations.

  6. 8-25-2011

    flat, non-hierarchial, everyone equal (including women), no titles, no salary, where everyone loves and serves one another.

  7. 8-25-2011

    Great descriptions of believers who lead by serving others in various ways!


  8. 8-26-2011

    Jesus is Lord – I’m not. He’s the head – I’m not. I am but one gift in one body. Connections is understanding this more and more.

    BUT – By “nature” there does seem to be people that have the ability to influence others. Are they leaders? I use the term “nature” because it’s natural for them. Can there not be leaders in a local gathering as long as everyone understands that leadership does not always equate to being in authority?

  9. 8-26-2011


    Yes, I think there will be natural leaders among any group of people, and there will be those who lead among the church. The question we should ask ourselves is what kind of “leading” are we influenced by. Unfortunately, I think many in the church today are influenced by the kind of leading that results from education, popularity, position (job), etc. Instead, I think in Scripture we see that we should be influenced by those who follow Jesus, serve others, and are mature in their faith and life.


  10. 8-26-2011

    Funny that you referenced this blog post Alan. I got the idea after I read one of your recent posts on leadership. So, I suppose great minds think alike.

  11. 8-27-2011


    Then you should definitely write another post based on this one.