Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Most Efficient Leadership Structure

"I am convinced that top-down structures of leadership are unquestionably more efficient -- efficient in doing almost everything than equipping, which is the primary task of leadership. "
(David Black - http://www.daveblackonline.com/what_does_a_new_testament_church.htm)

What do you think of this quote?

In terms of government systems, I have often heard that dictatorships or single party systems are more efficient than multiparty systems. Some of the most efficient countries in history have had a strong top-down leadership structure. I think the same goes for companies and other institutions.

There are drawbacks of course. I am glad I don't live in Nazi Germany or a single party country like China. Strong top-down leadership structures often do not value freedom of speech when your views are different than that of the leaders.

What is the primary task of leadership?

I guess it depends. In the case of a corporation that produces widgets, efficiency may be the top goal, and a strong top-down leadership structure may help produce the most widgets.

However, when talking about the church, the assembling of believers, what is the purpose of leadership?

If the goal is to run excellent programs a top-down leadership structure is likely what you want.

I believe the goal of gathering with other believers is to build one another up to become more like Christ. I believe Ephesians 4:7-16 speaks to this:
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."(NIV)

I suspect this building up of one another is best accomplished in mutual relationships.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Tim said...

The funny thing is industry and the military are seeking ways to make command structures "faster and flatter" in order to drive decision cycle time down.

With the Holy Spirit as our command and control network, we have the fastest and flattest structure ever.

One Chief Shepherd, able to instantly direct an entire organization. You can't get more efficient. Of course, it might not seem efficient to us if we don't share His vision.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Tim. Good points.

Andrew Bernhardt said...

We do have a top-down leadership structure, but it is only one level deep. Jesus commands/directs each of us and we obey.

Jonathan said...

Yes, Andrew, Christ's church only has one 'head'. I agree it is only one level deep. Yet in some way's Jesus' style of leadership wasn't even top-down. He came as one who served, who gave his life for others. In many ways I see in Jesus an upside down example of leadership, or bottom-up style of leadership.

But yes, Jesus does reign over us... so I don't really disagree with what you said.

Thanks for the comment.