Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Thursday, September 16, 2004


I have recently been grappling with the issue of leadership. I ask myself if I am a good leader, but before I do that I guess I must define what I think a good leader encompasses. After reading St. Benedict and John Huss, I find that leadership must walk the fine line of humble servant (veering more this direction) and strong director. I have read lots of Tim Elmore material as well as half a John Maxwell book about leadership. I enjoyed Elmore more than Maxwell (Elmore is a student of Maxwell) but I wonder if they just take business ideas and practice them into a church setting. I do not agree with "powerbrokers" or "CEO" models of leadership. Then I read Eugene Peterson and he says that one must define who he/she is before they define themselves as what they do. What is your identity? is a focal question a leader must ask himself/herself. Then I stumble upon this "postmodern" conversation that discusses the fluidity of emerging leadership vs. the rigidity of modern leadership. Parts I like, others I don't. And finally I read Henri Nouwen and his view of leadership is downward mobility.

With all this being said, what defines a "good" leader? Humility, passion, creativity, listening, serving, learning, compassionate. I'm sure there are several other characteristics you can add or remove, but this is my initial understanding of the word leadership.