Servant leadership is a robust paradigm that has influenced contemporary leadership thought since Robert Greenleaf offered the notion in the 1970s. Servant leadership is embraced by Christian and secular leadership theorists alike. Despite its popularity, however, some leadership scholars raise concerns about the viability of the model. Criticism centers primarily on questions about the strength of the model and its view of human transformation. The charge that servant leadership offers a faulty perception of human transformation is fueled by Greenleaf's servant-first approach to servant leadership in which a desire to serve is followed by a conscious decision to lead. The indictment that servant leadership is an inherently weak model of leadership evolves from the model's paradoxical nature. Servant leadership is based on the premise that leaders are to serve the needs of the led. It is noncoercive, careful to do no harm to others, and motivates those being served to, in turn, become servants. This dissertation hypothesizes that these criticisms may best be answered by moving the paradigm toward a biblical understanding of servant leadership. The study isolates concepts of servanthood in the Isaian Servant Songs that inform New Testament notions that one must serve others to attain a position of prominence. These servant leadership themes are then explored in the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus Christ. Three discoveries help answer criticisms leveled against this leadership genre by moving toward a biblical understanding of servant leadership. First, compliance with the will of God and one's calling informs the issue of human transformation. Second, a biblical model of servant leadership is based on divine empowerment. Finally, servant leadership is a powerful paradigm that grapples successfully with inherent suffering and resistance.
|Advisor:||Stookey, Stephen M.|
|Commitee:||Blackaby, Norman C., Jaeger, John|
|School:||Dallas Baptist University|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Biblical studies|
|Keywords:||Biblical concepts, Greenleaf, Isaiah, Leadership, Servant, Songs|
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