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Biblical Leadership Principles

The Nature of Christian Leadership
By Camuy Heremuru

The quest to identify an ideal model of leadership that leaders can replicate in order to have better functioning organizations continues to be a challenge for leaders (Kouzes and Posner, 1987). This has lead writers such as Greenleaf, Winston and Brauna to explore Biblical Leadership Principles, which have the capacity to change the moral fiber of man and society. This unique model has shown the potential to revolutionize leadership as we know it, and invariably create more successful organizations.

To fully understand the implications of Christian leadership we must first understand its nature. Hence the questions: what are the fundamentals on which this type of Leadership is based? Why this style of leadership gained preeminence in the work of so many scholars and has proven to be so effective in Biblical Testaments? What is the nature of Christian leadership that sets it apart from secular leadership styles? In order to ascertain answers to these questions this paper examines the nature of Christian leadership by studying and analyzing Jesus' Leadership in the 9th chapter in the gospel of Matthew, verses 20-22, by explicitly looking at the attributes which formed the core of Jesus' Leadership. To assist readers to fully comprehend the nature of Christian leadership in this passage, this paper employs an inter-textual and inner texture approach from Socio rhetoric Interpretation. By examining Jesus' leadership from different perspectives readers are provided with a more wholesome view of the nature of Jesus' leadership style. This paper therefore, examines attributes such as: Godly principles, love and purpose of Jesus' leadership as well as their importance to what constitute Christian leadership. It is my intention that readers will utilize the findings in this paper to enhance their leadership styles which will invariably lead to better leadership and healthier organizations.


 Matthean gospel holds much value to the understanding of Christian leadership as it is deemed to have had more influence on the development of the early church and consequently, Christianity. There seems to be much discrepancy about the authorship of Matthew (Desilva, 2004). Some scholars claim that it was written by Matthew, an eye witness, one of the twelve, while others cited the reliance on Mark gospel as evidence against him being an eye witness. Matthew is said to have utilized not only Mark as a source but also the Q. The language while bearing marked similarities to Mark is more elaborate. The Matthean gospel is said to have been written prior to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. The citation of various Jewish customs, without accompanying explanations, woven throughout Matthew suggests that it was written for a Jewish audience. In order to portray Christ as the King and Messiah of Israel, Matthew utilizes various quotes from the Old Testament, thus all the principal themes are grounded in the Old Testament.


In analyzing Matthew 9:20-22, socio rhetorical criticism is employed to assist in understanding the intricacies of this passage. Socio rhetorical criticism is a method of analyzing text by looking at the values, conviction and beliefs in the text in relation to the world (Robbins, 1996). There are five approaches in this method of analyzing text: Inner texture, inter texture, social and cultural texture, ideological texture and sacred texture. (Desilva, 2004). For the purposes of examining Matthew 9:20-22, an intertexture is first done to provide a conceptual understanding of the existing culture in that era. This is followed by an inner texture approach to help in comprehending the passage. Inner texture refers to the different ways that a text manipulates language to provide more detailed understanding of the text. The argumentative texture is one branch of understanding the inner working of a text. It provides reasons for readers to think and act in a specific manner. The inter-textual method of analyzing a text, studies the specific text in relation to other texts outside of the particular text. This method of analyzing a text may use different approaches and includes the use of other text in relation to the text being studied, in order for readers to fully grasp the meaning of the text. The use of both approaches provides a richer and fuller meaning of the text.
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