Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)


Divinity College


Joyce Bellous




Through the pages of this thesis, I articulate a biblical model for leadership and power, focusing on the relationship between leaders and followers. I contend that the goal - the measure of success - of effective leadership is the transformation and empowerment of the follower as opposed to quantitative or organizational success. The thesis opens with a definition of leadership as being influence. This leads to the discussion of power as the core of the leader/follower relationship. I examine scripture's description of power abuses that are at the root of the "patron/client" social order. Jesus reverses the social order both in his teaching and his behaviour and concludes, "You are not to be like that!" (Luke 22:26). Following Jesus' example, the Christian leaders' first responsibility is to empower their followers in a community of mutual inquiry and reciprocal submission. I apply these discussions to the contemporary cultural situation, often labeled "postmodern," and the significant challenges it presents for Christian leaders. Postmodern culture demands, I suggest, a renewed emphasis on authentic relationship between Christian leaders and postmodern followers and a renewed sense of mission. That is, postmodern culture provides new challenges that should be met with rigorous application of "Kingdom" principles of mutual respect and ethical living. In sum, leadership, to be biblical, must transform followers to be empowered servants who carry Jesus' message to a seeking world.

McMaster University Library