What’s Christian About Christian Leadership?


When you lack a definitive definition of leadership, you end up with a plethora of creative interpretations of leadership. Some of these leadership emphasis include transformational leadership, servant leadership, primal leadership, autocratic leadership, and Christian leadership. Each leadership style has a number of leading leadership scholars who have expounded on each leadership concept. 

As a Christian, I am most concerned on how I ought to view leadership from the lens of a Jesus follower. To put in a simple question, “What’s Christian about Christian leadership?” Faith & Leadership (a great website to follow!) interviewed five Christian leaders to address this exact question. Each video runs less than 2 minutes long and I thought you’d be interested in some of their answers. Remember to comment at the end of the post on your thoughts on this question as well!  

Vashti Murphy McKenzie – Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church/ the first female bishop in its history and serves in the 13th Episcopal District, which includes Tennessee and Kentucky.


Key Message: The role model for leadership is Jesus.

Ronald A. Heifetz – Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership, co-founder of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates.


Key Message: Christians can help people of all faiths understand the nature and practice of love.

Janice Riggle Huie – Bishop of the United Methodist Church, elected in 1996 by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference. She has served in the church’s Arkansas Annual (regional) Conference, 1996-2004, and in the Texas Annual Conference since 2004.


Key Message: Christian leadership begins and ends in God.

Jean Vanier – Canadian Catholic philosopher turned theologian, and humanitarian. Beginning with a community in France, he is the founder of L’Arche, an international federation of communities for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. 


Key Message: Forgiveness and love of enemies are at the heart of leadership.

Adam Hamilton – senior pastor United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. It is the largest United Methodist congregation in the United States. 


Key Message: Before we are leaders, we are followers.

Question: Can you add to the list here? What’s Christian about Christian leadership?