Discussion Question: Secular and Biblical Perspectives
Describe how servant leadership is viewed from both the secular and the biblical perspectives.
Next, research the differences and similarities between the biblical and secular perspectives of power and authority. What do you consider to be the most significant differences between the two?
Secular and Biblical Perspectives
Providing service is diametrically opposed to how authority is seen in the secular world. Rather than concentrating power in the hands of a single individual, serving entails sharing power to accomplish shared objectives. From a Christian perspective, servant leadership is about addressing the needs of others in a group environment rather than the leader himself (Crowther, 2018). While the secular definition of power focuses on gaining an advantage over others, the secular concept of a servant leader emphasizes how to assist others in growing and developing (Sullivan, 2019). Another significant difference is that service recognizes the value and need of improving the lives of others. At the same time, secular authority is exclusively concerned with results and does not care about the well-being of people under its control. From a Christian perspective, servant leadership is a realistic paradigm that may be adopted in order to deliver high-quality health care.
When it comes to power and authority, the Bible defines them by looking at God’s essence and beginning with the expression of His character (Gaillardetz, 2018). Effective leadership consists of fundamentally honest, ethically defined, and revolutionary leadership. In order to be successful for a Christian follower, power and authority must be Christ-like and Godly in nature. To carry out their evangelistic mission, evangelical missionaries have entrusted Christians with the critical responsibility of maturing into servant leaders (Gaillardetz, 2018). Every Christian follower of Christ is expected to demonstrate faith-based leadership founded on the essential attributes of the Christian perspective on power and authority. Consequently, biblical values must permeate all aspects of Christian leadership, official or informal. According to Gaillardetz (2018), the current time is plagued by various difficulties and challenges that need a mix of professional leadership and spirituality. The preceding argument is based on the concept that broadening the reach of Christian ideals via strong biblical leadership will result in a better society. Regardless of religious membership, all Christians have a moral obligation to contribute significantly to the community in various roles, including leadership.
When someone is said to be secular, it means that they are free of religious convictions. The term secular is derived from the Latin word saeculum, which means “world.” Essentially, it refers to the idea that we are physical beings in a physical world (Harrell and Thye, 2018). Secular leadership is just worldly leadership, and leaders should avoid it. Consequently, not just ‘worldly’ persons carry it out, but it also begins and finishes in the world. Everything about it is grounded in reality, from its philosophical roots to its presuppositions to logical conclusions. Throughout history, secular leaders have believed that they have risen to or would continue to rise to the top only by their hard work and dedication to their occupations or aims (Harrell and Thye, 2018). They believe that putting up effort will lead to long-term success. In today’s environment, the most successful leaders are seen as superior to everyone else. Buying monuments and amassing power and respect is tactic global leaders use to attain their goals and dreams. Such leaders are also favored by their followers, who see them as demi-gods in their own right.
A Christian leader prioritizes their decision above all other factors. Because the result determines whether a Christian will spend eternity in heaven or damnation after death. In the actual world, neither failure nor success exists. Another fundamental difference between Christian and secular ideas on power and authority is acknowledging the whole process, from start to finish, as God’s design and purpose, rather than merely hard labor and dedication. While celebrity and wealth drive most secular leaders, Christian leaders are motivated by a desire to impact the lives of those around them positively.
Crowther, S. (2018). Biblical Servant Leadership. In Biblical Servant Leadership (pp. 135-151). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-89569-7_7
Gaillardetz, R. R. (2018). By What Authority?: Foundations for Understanding Authority in the Church. Liturgical Press. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=PM1PDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=+biblical+perspective+of+power+and+authority&ots=OWu4QMxzDz&sig=FJIyyJedUK1Jc4AQMjXUssGcb94
Harrell, A., & Thye, S. (2018). Power and authority. Core Concepts in Sociology, 222. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=uDJqDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA222&dq=power+and+authority+max+weber&ots=ytfTx7MMUB&sig=atmmcF_OijJ0SD0fieKGLTQS7r8
Sullivan, G. S. (2019). Servant Leadership: Philosopher’s Perspective. In Servant Leadership in Sport (pp. 41-65). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-11248-6_3