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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Gospel Leadership

"I have come to set fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already blazing." Lk 12:51

Leadership in an individualistic society like the United States is very different from leadership in a communal society like Japan or Korea. It is important to reflect on this in light of today's scriptures. The society into which Jesus was born was communal like Japan. The word Wa in Japanese means peace, harmony and balance and one must never disturb the Wa of a family, town or country. Each person in a communal society works naturally for the common good, and more easily lets go of his or her individual wants and needs for the sake of the community.

Leadership in this context is intuitive.  A leader protects, reminds and calls the family, village or nation to Wa, to harmony and balance.  On the other hand, in individualistic societies leadership emphasizes the hero, the person(s) whose personality strengths are such that they can push, pull, coax and manipulate those they lead in a particular direction.  Leadership is not simply about reminding others of the values a country or company espouses as much as convincing others that a particular course of action is best for all, and is dependent on the political capital that a leader has earned, begged, borrowed or stolen.

Leadership in a gospel context is relational. A leader's primary task is to call people to a union with one another that builds up the society and allows each one to contribute to the common good.
Unity with one another is the primary sign that we are of God and from God. As Christian leaders, we must work for unity among all peoples and find ways to put aside the divisions that unnecessarily separate us and often cause scandal for those who expect more from believers in Jesus.

Today, ask God to make you a sign of unity in the world and the church.

What kind of leader do you want in your faith life?

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