AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH

Leadership must be rooted in servanthood not authoritarianism. The leader must be gentle and entreating. Everyone is called to be teachable and responsive. A leader’s authority comes from several sources. One from character and moral authority. Secondly as one who represents what the Bible teaches. It is “the Bible says so” not simply “because I said so”. Thirdly authority should be constituted, namely the person leading is under authority and subject to meaningful organizational accountability. True spiritual authority is not independent. Below is a helpful article describing styles of leadership.

God neither promotes anarchy or dictatorship.

TRANSACTIONAL vs TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP STYLES

Message given at a University of the Nations workshop from a YWAM leader (no author cited, edited)

There are two different kinds of leaders [terms from social psychologist James McGregor/Burns].
1. Transactional leadership
2. Transformational leadership

1. Transactional Leadership
Based on power/force. Works through coercion. The leader tells you what to do. Model: the leader is like the engineer in a factory. Leaders see his/her organization as a machine. All the workers have a role to play and a job to perform in that machine. The relationship between the worker and the leader is based on concessions back and forth. A leader says, “Come do this work for us and we will give you things in return.” There is money involved, but there can also be security and a recognized place in society. A contract is created so all understand what their job is. Authoritarian style of leadership
Practically universal throughout most of the 19th and 20th century.

2. Transformational Leadership (Greek: exousia)
Based on authority of the leader. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He said He would give us authority, not power. “Authority” and “power” are often confused in different translations of the Bible.
Works through influence, a vision that calls the people A transformational leader doesn’t tell people what to do. Puts out their vision – a picture of the future that others want to follow. Challenges us with a calling. Gives certain values; not just about a job, but about accomplishing something together. Based on the transformation of each worker, not based on contract. The leader invites people to work with him/her. Not authoritarian, but liberating. Many businesses built on this model.

3. As organizations model themselves on the transactional or transformational view of leadership, their view of the human being differs.

a. Transactional organization

Rules and emphasis on compliance with rules. Low tolerance for diversity. Emphasis on hierarchy: It is clear who is up in the hierarchy and who is down. The ones lower down are treated differently that those higher up. Information is held closely by the leadership. Withholding information is a method of control. Decisions are announced, not processed. Loyalty is valued more than truthfulness. People who tell the truth are obliged to leave. When the truth-teller leaves an organization, it teaches everyone in the organization not to tell the truth. The leaders may talk about accountability, but, in reality, they are accountable to nobody. Sometimes these leaders are visionary, but vision is used for manipulation.

b. Transformational organization

Visionary—a type of vision that is liberating. Personal initiative encouraged. High level of trust at all levels. One quality of the entire organization is encouragement. Personal fulfillment for all is an official goal of this organization. Creativity and diversity are promoted in the organization—the result is that young people come and stay as do creative and divergent people. There are not a lot of rules but guiding principles. People are told to apply them as they see fit. The leader is not seen as superior to others. Respect for the individual. Information is shared with everyone. Everyone is truly accountable.
Truth-telling is encouraged. All participate in the decision-making. Not all decide, that will not help an organization to work, but all can speak out, contribute and participate. Structure is de-emphasized. It is subtle and flexible.