In Lance Ford’s book, “UnLeader: Reimagining Leadership and Why We Must,” he states:
“In the kingdom of God we must view Jesus as our big L Leader—the one and only Senior Shepherd. Men and women can, and should, function in leadership but never be underscored with rank as leaders. Leadership must be viewed as a spiritual gift and not as a position of power. To develop the familial culture of a Jesus community requires us to jettison any hint of corporate-style, top-down authority structure, along with the language that supports it.” *
In order to unpack this statement and place ourselves within an environment for fruitful discussion, we must define our terms carefully and establish a somewhat open frame of reference.
I’d like to do that by asking three questions:
1. How do we, or should we, provide structure to leadership within the church if we are not to have hierarchical systems or tiered authority constructs?
2. Are there different levels of authority within Church? Are those different authority levels vested in people? What determines those levels?
3. Is a flat leadership biblical? Does flat imply zero structure or leadership?
Some scripture texts you may find helpful (3 John 1:9) (Mark 10:42-44) (Luke 22:25-27) (2 Corinthians 1:24) (1 Peter 5:3) (Matthew 20:25-27) (Matthew 23:2-12)
*Ford, Lance (2012-09-01). UnLeader: Reimagining Leadership and Why We Must (Kindle Locations 713-717). Nazarene Publishing House. Kindle Edition.