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Christian Leader; Who, What or How is that? 2/2

How should culture affect the way we lead?

people and culture

Does it mean then that Christian LC should by all means remain indifferent to the culture surrounding it? In no way! In its very beginning church was founded on the structures of the Roman Empire and spread its functions over the Europe long after the empire collapsed. Hierarchy was the dominant organizational pattern over centuries which people understood and could easily relate to.[1] It does not mean that these patterns and structures are the only suitable structures for Christian leadership, just as much it does not mean that Aramaic is the only suitable language to be used in Christian fellowship because Jesus spoke it. The point being made is that when a firm biblical ground is established under our leadership, we can proceed to choose LC that is most appropriate to our context. While not all cultures are equally valuable[2] many aspects of cultures are not intrinsically evil or good, wrong or right, thus there is a wide variety to choose from.

Today we may encounter a good deal of styles and leaderships. They are called Transformational, Transactional, Entrepreneurial, Servant or Situational Leadership. Styles are Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Charismatic or Democratic.[3] Adding all the differentiations from the beginning of this paper, one needs to be very careful in assembling the proper LC. At this point it might be simply concluded that the appropriate LC is the one that will work in a given context.

Cross-Cultural Leadership

As we experience increasing fluctuation of people across the globe a new term in leadership is gaining attention, namely Cross-Cultural Leadership. Here admitting the lack of mutual understanding is the common ground for any further planning and cooperation. A great sensitivity in listening, sharing and identifying the differences is crucial. Here our deep-rooted expectations and attitudes must be left behind so as the new collective and functioning culture might ever be created.[4] Yet, it shouldn’t be a surprise that for the sake of co-operation one must never Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Mission, Theology

 

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Christian Leader; Who, What or How is that? 1/2

Never before were people so occupied by the theme of leadership as today. If Christian leaders do not pay attention to this gentle relation between leadership and culture we might find ourselves sooner or later lost in the mixture of biblical teaching and cultural influences.

Leadership in its Complexity

Before we dive straight into the topic of leadership I believe it must be remarked that this single subject could be easily spread over thousands of pages and dozens of books due to its variety. Any further discussion about leadership will strictly depend on the very group of people it is exercised over, considering their socio-economic background, history, geographical location, intellectual level, age group, but among others also religion, denominational ranges and individual personality traits.[1] All these contribute somehow to a resulting sum of attitudes, leadership chaosexpectations, perceptions, customs, practices and the whole atmosphere in, from or towards a Leadership Culture (further only LC) in any given environment. LC will substantially influence matters such as assertiveness, gender differentiation, terms of hiring (Nepotism[2] and Cronyism[3] vs. Meritocracy[4]), power distance (top-down or flat), focus (task or people), mutual mindset (collectivistic or individualistic), communication (specific or diffuse), time horizon, space orientation, desired leadership traits, emotional relation and decision making processes all the way to the very core definition of what is leadership.[5]

For instance, taking into consideration only the attribute of power distance, while openness and room for discussion given by a leader is well appreciated in most parts of Africa and Western Europe (flat), in many Asian and Latin American situations this would be perceived as a weak leadership. On the other hand, Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Mission, Theology

 

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