Five Contemporary Images of Christian Leadership

Five Contemporary Images of Christian Leadership

There are 5 unique types of leaders within the organisation and the key focus of each of us is to understand what kind of leader we are and how we fit into the body.


Theologian Focuses on Truth


Clear beliefs

Propositional/analytical thinking

Theological purity


Innovator Focuses on Connection



Cultural engagement

Community contextualisation


Activist Focuses on the Mission



Visionary strategy

Social advancement


Manager Focuses on the Organisation

Efficient collaboration


Team-based strategy/management



Soulful Leader All about Depth




Emotional health



1. What is your default style or personal leadership image? Or which style do you most see yourself living from?

2. Which of these kinds of leaders do you most want to follow?

3. What does your church/organisation expect of you?

4. What are the dangers of dismissing or discarding any of these strengths?



Express What Matters

Leadership Mosaic is built on the premise of theologically driven leadership. All theology is practical, and all practice is theological. Unfortunately, most of our churches and spiritual communities are pragmatically driven. Their fundamental questions are:

• How do we get more people?

• How do we build bigger buildings?

• What do we do about the scarcity of cash?

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with asking questions about growth and fiscal health. but when these questions become the primary drivers of our spiritual communities, we have fallen prey to the spirit of pragmatism and consumerism. A theologically driven church asks:

• Where is God in my leadership? (Gal. 2:14; 5:16)

• How is my leadership a reflection of who God is? (Eph. 5:1)

• How do we do leadership in a way worthy of the gospel? (Phil. 1:27)


Great organisations have a why. For Ascend Church, our why comes from a confluence of considering what God has done in the gospel, what God is creating in the church, and how God has sent the church into the world. In other words, a God-sized world needs God-centered leadership. When we look to the Bible, we shouldn’t merely look for a theology of leadership.



Ten Theses for Theologically Driven Leaders

1. Christian leaders must break free from reductionist and simplistic images of leadership and hold together a holistic understanding and practice of leadership.

2. Christian leaders must lead with conviction, embodying knowledge, being, and doing, and model a better way.

3. Christian leaders must critically and creatively contextualise leadership in an ever-changing world, holding fast to the unchanging gospel.

4. Christian leaders must instruct, indict, and inspire followers with a compelling vision of a bigger and more beautiful mission.

5. Christian leaders must put of fear, shame, and guilt and put on faith, hope, and love, courageously preaching the gospel first to themselves, then to others.

6. Christian leaders must step into the unknown, unmanageable, and unsafe spaces and trust that God is with us always.

7. Christian leaders must live and lead into community and not forfeit the collaborative dynamic God has designed for his mission.

8. Christian leaders must fight for unity, celebrate diversity, and grow in collaborative maturity.

9. Christian leaders must hold in tension contemplation and action, being and doing, heart and hands.

10. Christian leaders must live and lead into the complexity, believing a better way is possible

Lesson tags: leadership, maturity
Back to: Leadership Essentials
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