Sample Critical Thinking On An Examination Of Pauline Leadership Through The Conduit Of Contemporary Theory
In all of his epistles to the churches, Paul saluted the leaders but dedicated most of his work to the church addressing the entire congregation more frequently than he clergy. For instance, despite the numerous mistakes the church and Corinth made, he addressed the congregation rather than the leaders. He solved the issue of the division by directing them to Christ as the most important leader and focus of Christianity rather than the Apollo or him. This paper is a detail exploration of the essence of Pauline leadership and theory, as it can be applied in modern religious guidance. Order #217503455 Religious Studies
In Andrew D. Clarke’s book, Serve the Community of the Church: Christian Leaders and Ministers, the Greco-Roman context of the world was instrumental to the structure of the early Christian movement of the first century. The lecturer of the New Testament at the University of Aberdeen elaborates on the extent to which the models of leadership and organizational establishments were adapted and reshaped by the churches established in the first century Church. First, the author discusses recent scholarship to describe the political, social, and religious dimensions as well as the leadership patterns of the five social institutions in the society. Clarke categorizes these institutions to include the voluntary associations, the Greco-Roman city, Roman colony and city, the family and the household, and the Jewish synagogues.
Additionally, Clarke considers the influence of these social institutions on the contemporary society and the leadership patterns of the early church to demonstrate how the various communities in the New Testament addressed by Paul were distinct in social structures. Finally, the author considers Paul as a model, an apostle, and a father; Clark elucidates Paul’s experience in this context, suggesting Paul’s leadership emphasized service to others.
Direction for the Discourse – Leadership Theories and Philosophy
This article uses anthropological propositions and contemporary leadership theories, alongside a philosophical consideration to describe Clarke’s notion of Pauline leadership and the role of institutions in the society, with the intention of providing practical, contemporary application for an array of settings or venues. Leadership studies and organizations have been in discussion for some time regarding the various contexts and applications of leadership theories since the mid-twentieth century.
Theories of leadership not only elaborate on the important traits of different leaders; theseparadigms also provide an understanding of how various leaders exercise their power in addition to how they draw support from followers. Here, theories of interest are the trait theory, the Great Man theory and the behavioral theory. In addition to the referenced information, the looking glass self-philosophy will serve as an example of a concept aimed at explaining the occurrence of socialization.
According to the trait theory, individuals are born or made with specific qualities, which facilitate their advancement to leadership roles in the society. These qualities include sense of responsibility, intelligence, and creativity among several others. Clarke repeatedly points out these qualities in Paul in his implementation of leadership within the Christian church, demonstrated in his epistles to the various New Testament churches.
Great Man Theory
The Great Man theoryalso significantly analyzes the mental, physical, and social characteristics of the leader in order to understand the characteristics or combination there-of in the leaders that make him or her successful in influencing followers. Several instances in scripture and the Clarke’s substantiate these leadership traits in Paul. In the Book of Acts, Paul’s personality is depicted as having the creativity to demonstrate resiliency in difficult situations. His wisdom provided him an advantage in the disagreement between the ruling officials in the attainment of his freedom. According to Clarke, Paul’s wit was incomparable to many of his peers, most of whom sought wisdom from him.
Theory of Behaviorism
The behaviorism theory correlates positively with Paul’s behavior as a model, apostle, and father as indicated byClarke. Accordingly, a leader must influence his followers and the latter should have a reasonable faith in the former. The behavioral theory was established as a reaction to the shortcomings of the trait theory. This theory focuses on the behaviors of the leader as opposed to the physical, mental, and social characteristics of the leader. Therefore, this theory can be used to measure the cause and effect relationship related to the behaviors of a given leaders. The notion here is leaders can be made rather than born. Moreover, successful leadership is based on learned and defined behavior. Paul was significantly made a leader. God appointed Paul to become a leader and serve him when he was persecuting the Christians. Paul’s behavior was modified to reflect what would be necessary forChristianity through the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Situational Leadership Theory
Several research studies have analyzed the leadership Style of Paul using situational leadership and provided analysis based on several roles in which he served. Paul was arguably the most successful proselytizer in the Christian history; Paul managed to establish several Christian communities. According to the situational leadership theory, the best action of a leader in the society is based on a range of situational factors. A situational leader can possess either trait or behavioral characteristics. In cases where decisions are needed, effective leaders, do not just fall into a single leadership style such as autocratic or consultative.
Andrew Clarke describes Paul’s leadership as a model of agricultural, household, and artisan imagery. He argues that Paul’s leadership style includes emphasis on task orientation and that this task orientation is contrasted to the role reversal called servant leadership in the contemporary society. During his ministry, Paul argued regularly provided sermons indicating that leaders should humble themselves instead of serving the people as exalted figureheads in the society. Humility is a trait of servant leadership as indicated in the trait leadership theory. Paul was a situational leader since he was appointed to ensure that the work of the Lord was established and maintained in the society. He managed to control the situation by establishing Christian communities in various locations, to include Corinth, where moral decayed was evident.
Philosophical Condition – The Looking Glass Self
The looking glass self philosophy is social philosophical view that suggest an individual’s self grows out of the interpersonal interactions in the society and the perception of other people. This implies that people shape their self-concepts depending on their understanding of the perceptions of other members of the society on their character. This explains the socialization processes and socialization agents in the society. This attribution can be descriptive of Clarke’s construction of Paul’s leadership because he proposes the members of the society are continuously molded through the socialization agents such as the voluntary associations, the Greco-Roman city, Roman colony and city, the family and the household, and the Jewish synagogues. The LGS philosophy has three tenets.
First, members of the society imagine how they must present themselves to others. Secondly, the philosophy asserts individuals imagine and react to what theyperceive their judgment of an appearance is defined as. Finally, LGSasserts these individuals develop their self through their judgments of the other members of the society. The tenets of the philosophy imply that social institutions such as contemporary churches/religious institutions (ancient Jewish Synagogues), and the family among other socialization agents are responsible for shaping the human behavior. Different empirical studies have also pointed out the roles of social institutions such as schools, peer groups, and neighborhoods in shaping human behavior.
Cooley first used the term "looking-glass self" after psychological tests in 1902. Several studies have also been published on the philosophy. In Clarke’s book, Serve the Community of the Church:Christian Leaders and Ministers, he posits, socialization agents such as voluntary associations, the Greco-Roman culture, the family and household, and the Jewish synagogues, were significant in shaping human behavior. S/Paul can be considered a product of this philosophy. In the instance where Saul gave consent in the killing of a Christians, he conformed to the behaviors of his then worldview. However, upon his conversion, Paul led the Christian community in exercising Christian values inclusive of humility, love, responsibility, and servant hood, which were the basis of his teachings.
Paul ensured that he encouraged the members of the Christian community to exercise the values that they wanted other members of the society to exercise on them. Paul used the Golden Rule as is explained in the book of Mathew 7:12, “So whatever you desire that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (7:12). As a principal and a father, he explained that the members of the church are the image of the invisible God. Therefore, in exercising Christian values, members of the Christian community should reflect the image of God in their actions. In exercising these values, the members of the church were conforming to the looking glass self philosophy.
As indicated by the philosophy’s nomenclature, the characteristics of membership within a given society determine the social groups togetherness. This is suggestive that religious people often share the same goals, ambitions, ideas, and therefore, behavior. This philosophy was aimed at providing a balance between the behaviors of individuals and their expressions towards others. During the era of Paul, there was a significant divide among members of the community based on the Mosaic laws, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the expectations of the members of the society. Therefore, this philosophy, as employed by Paul, and explained by Andrew Clarke, proposes that members of the society have an obligation, to behave according to the ascribed community with the understanding that behavior would impact the wider community in addition to the ascribed community.
Significance of Pauline Leadership and Theory
In all of his epistles to the churches, Paul saluted the leaders but dedicated most of his work to the church addressing the entire congregation more frequently than he clergy. For instance, despite the numerous mistakes the church and Corinth made, he addressed the congregation rather than the leaders. He solved the issue of the division by directing them to Christ as the most important leader and focus of Christianity rather than the Apollo or him.
Paul gave vivid instructions that define the quality of an effective leader. Moreover, his life was more exemplary and a better definition of the expectations of a Church leader than his words. For instance, in his first epistle to the troubled church at Corinth, Paul mentions that the power of God is more important than the eloquence and attractive speech of a leader (I Corinthians 4: 19). He relied on the revelation from God rather than his knowledge that he acquired under Gamaliel.
Paul was also keen on stressing the importance of the nature of a servant-ship in a leader in his description of qualities of leaders in Chapter 4 of his first letter to the Corinthians. He is also keen on warning the leaders to be careful because their work will face tests and ultimate judgment in accordance to their focus on the Jesus Christ as the foundation (I Corinthians 3: 10-17).
He also sought to maintain equality by appreciating his subordinates commending them with praise for their duties and efforts. He addressed the all members as fellow workers and took the time to praise the deeds of gallant Christians such as Priscilla and Aquilla. He also knew many Christians who had played diverse roles in spreading the gospel through their testimonies. For example, in his letter to the Roman church which he neither founded or visited, Paul mentions names of some of the Christians and is confident in share with them the issues concerning Christ in the epistle (Smith 3).
Through Paul's life, his theory of leadership is enhanced in real life situations giving examples for his followers and aspirants to Church leadership.
The objective here was to converge Clarke’s notion of Pauline leadership through contemporary leadership paradigms and philosophy for generalized attribution.Leadership was and is a significant aspect of everyday life since leaders provide a sense of direction to their followers. Leadership does not only involve the political aspects, but also the philosophical and social aspects of guiding the followers towards achieving a desired goal. Scripture, among other characterizations, may be considered an anthropological reference in identifying informationabout different periods, events and individuals. Throughout scriptural text for example, Paul’s morality, based on his worldview is overt, both, prior to, and after conversion. Clark’s publication provides consistency (rather agreed upon the genre of leadership Clarke proposes or not) on the character of Paul as a model, an apostle, and a father.
Clarke provides insights to the various variables, which were crucial in Pauline leadership. Because Paul’s influence within the Church is timeless, and applied by various ecclesiologies today, how the apostle is interpreted is critical to appropriation in ministry. The discourse here provides direction by way of synergy with genres of leadership studies, which very well may be facilitative in walking in Paul’s footsteps as he walked in Christ’s, in more expansive social contexts.
Clarke, Andrew, Serve the Community of the Church. Christian Leaders and Ministers, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000
Harrington, Daniel J. 2001. "Serve the Community of the Church: Christians as Leaders and Ministers." America, Mar 12, 25-26. http://search.proquest.com/docview/209667988?accountid=35812.
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Strhan, Anna. "The Obliteration of Truth by Management: Badiou, St. Paul and the question of economic managerialism in education." Educational Philosophy and Theory 42, no. 2 (2010): 230-250.
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