Secular and Christian Perspectives on Servant Leadership


Kye, Jae-Kwang

한국실천신학회 신학과 실천 제21호 2009.11 pp.287-318
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In light of recent cultural shifts, Korean churches and leaders are discovering that the authoritarian leadership patterns which they have employed are not working as well as they have in the past. These leaders are recognizing a need to change, and are looking for leadership models that can help them to do so. One approach that has recently grown in popularity, and which is particularly attractive to Christian leaders, is that of servant leadership. There is an ever‐increasing amount of literature available on servant leadership, both with respect to its practice in corporate settings and with respect to Christian leadership. However, rather than simply borrowing the latest model of leadership from the corporate world, Christian leaders need to reflect carefully on the biblical and theological appropriateness of this model and consider both points of coherence and disconnect with a Christian worldview. Thus we need to critically examine servant leadership and develop a Christian perspective on servanthood and servant leadership through biblical reflection and critique. Developing such a perspective is a primary aim of this article. To this end, I will first consider various theories of leadership and present some limitations of conventional approaches, before describing the basic premises and characteristics of servant leadership, considering perspectives from business management and Christian leadership. and attempting to lay the groundwork for a specifically Christian perspective on servant leadership. I will explore the philosophical basis of servant leadership as conceptualized by Robert Greenleaf and his followers, and I will then begin to develop a Christian perspective, centered around Jesus. Finally, I will present some theoretical implications and horizons for future research on a Christian understanding of servant leadership.


Ⅰ. Introduction - Present Situation of Korea in regardto Leadership
 Ⅱ. New Trends in Leadership Studies
  1. What is Leadership?
  2. Changing Trend of the Leadership Studies
  3. Changing Definition of Leadership
 III. The Rise of Servant Leadership
  1. Introduction and Origins
  2. What is servant leadership?
  3. The Core Characteristics of Servant Leadership
 IV. Servanthood as a Core Characteristic of Christianleadership
  1. Is Servant Leadership a Biblical Model or Secular Clone?
  2. Greatness is Servanthood
  3. Jesus as the Foundation of Servant Leadership
 V. Conclusions


  • Kye, Jae-Kwang Full-time Lecture of Hannam University


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