Friday, January 20, 2012

Leadership And Narcissism

Leadership And Narcissism!

Leadership Journal (fall 2010, JR Kerr.) featured an excellent article on "Pastoral Narcissism," here are a few highlights from that article.

The main thrust of the article is that community provides the cure for personal ambition. When the "whole" is the concentration and not the "parts" then there is no room for personal ambition and self promotion.

When leaders view the church as a platform to build their own personal brand of ministry they then have lost the Biblical vision of their calling to serve the community through the use of their gifts.

Another form of narcissism that leaders in the Church face is the fear of making hard decisions so that no one ever gets offended.  Let me frame this in the context of the pastor not confronting open sin as the shepherd of the people of God. Leaders in the Church must place the purity of the "whole" above their own need for personal approval.

I want to emphasize that the New Testament letters of the Apostle Paul overwhelmingly put community above individuality. This is a tough concept to understand in our 21st century culture that places the emphasis on the "individuality of the person," rather than good of others.

While Christ died for us as individuals---it seems that the New Testament letters of Paul frame Christ's death as for the "body" (Eph.5:25; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:1-2;). 

So, the best cure for narcissism would be a renewed emphasis on the "whole" instead of the individual "parts."

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