Parenting as Paul’s preferred style of leadership: some insights for Christian leadership in faith communties

Lovemore Togarasei


 Introducing the Journal of New Testament Studies of 2004 which carried a number of articles on early Christian families, MacDonald and Moxnes (2004:3-6) observed that, "The hope is that a direct focus on ‘family matters’ will shed new light on such diverse topics as rituals, leadership, asceticism, social location, community growth, and the lives of women, children and slaves in early Christianity." In this article I focus on how ‘family matters,’ specifically parenting, shed light on Paul’s practice and understanding of leadership. In a world where poor leadership has led us into a number of problems (political, environmental, economic, ecclesiastical, etc), the subject of leadership becomes very important. In Christian circles, models of leadership with a biblical basis are likely to be more effective. In support of servant leadership, the article therefore uses Paul’s imagery of parenting as a model that he preferred leaders to follow. Using the undisputed Pauline letters, the article analyses texts like 1 Cor. 3:2, 4:15,17, 2 Cor. 6:13, Philm 10, Phil. 2:22 and 1 Thess. 2:7,11 from a historical critical perspective to draw lessons on leadership for communities of faith.


Paul; Christian Leadership; Servant Leadership; Parenting; New Testament; Christian Communities

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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