Hierarchy Transfigured: Perspectives on Leadership in the New Testament

John Koenig

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1993

Issue: Leadership in the Church (Vol. 13, No 1, Winter, 1993)

It seems neither accurate nor useful to commend certain models of leadership in the New Testament as “non-hierarchical,” while downplaying others that are deemed hierarchical. It would be truer to the texts themselves and ultimately truer to the gospel to explore the ways in which all systems of ranking show themselves transfigured by their conformation to the crucified and risen Christ. Here is a trial description of New Testament leadership that may help to guide us in these explorations: Leaders, as portrayed by the apostolic writers, seem to be those led into prominence as servants of Christ with gifts of discernment and boldness. The remainder of this essay consists of an attempt to unpack and test this definition.

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