The Theology of Leadership Journal provides a refreshing perspective on leadership based in scripture, church history, and biblical narrative, a theological rather corporate CEO model. Though there are important pragmatic lessons to be learned from business leadership, the Kingdom of God does not function according to human values and systems. This was well described in various articles throughout this journal and it continually pointed the reader back to one’s calling, servant leadership, and Kingdom principles of relationship when discussing leadership. This was particularly evident in the article, “Prophets, Priests, and Kings.” Woodworth points to metaphors as a transformational communication means in order to transcend “individual, ethnic, and regional identities.” He shows how the writers of Biblical text portrayed this reality through their use of leadership metaphors such as “shepherd, ambassadors, witness, athlete, architect, father and mother.”
Holmquist presented a hermeneutical study of 1 Peter 5:1-5 in relation to Authentic Leadership Theory. He calls attention to Peter’s use of the Great Shepherd when addressing church leadership and characteristics of those shepherding the flock of God. ALT focuses its construct on “self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing, and internalized moral perspective.” The author asserts that ALT could gain from drawing on concepts in I Peter to strengthen this theory. He sees a correlation between the two in the areas of “valuing personal growth, building trust, staying true to internal standards, leading responsibly, serving willingly, sacrificing for others, and being an example.” He shows how ALT could gain weightiness by adding Peter’s emphasis on deep relationship through shared community between leaders and followers. He also points to Peter’s assertions toward having an external focus as well as internal.
An important topic Peter addresses in his letter is that of suffering. Holmquist connects a leader’s experience with suffering as part of their development and witness. I Peter 2:21 says, “To this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps.” The writer then goes on to describe the character and integrity revealed through suffering such as committing no sin, no deceit in his mouth, did not answer back when maligned and did not retaliate rather trusted himself to God. The ALT combined with the principles of 1 Peter reveals a leader who has pursued consistency in personal growth, accountability in relationship to a higher authority, both of which create a strong internal moral compass and humble posture.
Larry F. Ross’ review of James C Howell’s book, “Weak Enough to Lead: What the Bible Teaches Us About Powerful Leadership,” continues the idea of the character and humble posture of godly leadership by turning upside down the typical view of strong leaders. He draws our attention to biblical stories and says Jesus Christ is the “greatest leader ever” and he became “weak and powerless in the world by giving up his power while on the cross, so that he may come back with authority.” His examples include Hannah who let go of God’s promised child, of children who Jesus referenced as the picture of greatness, of Saul and leadership failure, and women in the life of Moses who, though seemingly insignificant in position, defied the leaders and authorities of the day by taking a stand and waiting patiently.
In Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice power and leadership are described as “inextricably intertwined” in “both a hard form (coercive) and a soft form (attractive), with each being exercised to some degree by nearly every leader. An effective leader will combine both forms, resulting in what Nye terms ‘smart power.’” This seems quite contrary to Howell’s description of power as weakness. Power, position and privilege are common terms in today’s world as we look at dominant cultures and their usage of these opportunities. As Howell described Jesus as the consummate leader his example was that of giving up power, position and privilege for the sake of those with none. He emptied himself in order to be with humanity in an understanding way. He models leadership as those who sacrifice for the sake of others to experience what they could never do on their own.
Could it be that the descriptions found in the Theology of Leadership Journal though appearing upside down according to the plethora of leadership definitions today, are actually right side up and actually have the ability to impact our world to become the same? May it be so.
 Stephen Woodworth, “Prophets, Priests and Kings: The Use of Metaphors in Training global Leaders Towards Pastoral Identity,” Theology of Leadership Journal 1, no. 1 (2018): 84.
 Ibid., 94.
 I Peter 2:21 NET
 Larry F. Ross, “Weak Enough to Lead: What the Bible Teaches Us About Powerful Leadership,” Theology of Leadership Journal 1, no. 1 (2018): 98.
 Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice (Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, 2010), 14.