There’s a nice discussion about servant leadership on the Jesus Creed blog. It’s about Brian Harris’ book The Tortoise Usually Wins: Biblical Reflections on Quiet Leadership for Reluctant Leaders, which I would like to read, but haven’t yet.
The discussion on the blog focuses on two types of leaders: the Imposer and the Nurturer.
The Imposer is a person of charisma and one who, in many ways, becomes his or her cause.
The second of these much generalized categories of leaders is the Nurturer or the servant leader. The Nurturer “mediates and midwives the ways of God to others.”
I would argue that the leader in the family model of ministry should prefer the nurturing style. I’ve heard people refer to the Apostle Paul as a CEO kind of leader, but he seems to value his nurturing abilities all the more.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8
Leadership is about parenting people to maturity. Parenting is nurturing. I’ve know imposing parents in my time in ministry, but I can tell you that their children often struggle because of the lack of nurturing.
I haven’t read Brian Harris’ book, but it’s on my wish list. I just need to find a copy now.