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Conjunctive Leadership
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Conjunctive Leadership

May 16, 2023

I shared in a previous blog about the "conjunctive nature of the Christian Life and noted that John Wesley is a good example of a leader who understood this feature (Dr. Ken Collins' assertion). As you might recall this "conjunctive" nature was that Wesley understood the Christian life and theology co-joining the truths of Scripture: faith and works, grace and truth, not saved by good works and saved for good works, etc. Wesley would not adhere to an either/or approach in Christian living but a both/and approach to be faithful to scripture.

As much as we may need to understand that the scriptures assert the Christian Life is conjunctive there is another area of conductive truth that affects the followers of Jesus. This other area where awareness of this feature of conjunctive thought is of great importance is in providing leadership in the church; The Body of Christ.

It is an historical reality that early followers of Jesus recognized him as human and divine. This understanding was more functional than philosophy; they believed that Jesus of Nazareth was a real human being and God at the same time. Over time it became necessary for The Church to articulate this truth of the nature of the body of Jesus of Nazareth to those outside The Church and especially to the pang culture throughout The Roman Empire.

It was because of the conjunctive nature of the person of Jesus as divine and human ("fully God and fully man") that the intellectual effort was needed to define the nature of this co-joining. All this gave way to a more accurate understanding of Jesus' body and person @ The Councils of Chalcedon and Ephesus.

In a similar way The Body of Christ (The Church) possess the same "conjunctive" nature as the body and person of Jesus of Nazareth......divine and human institution. This "conjunctive" nature makes leading The Church a challenge. The specific challenge has to do with the giving attention and answers to these different truths of The Church. For instance, when The Church is facing an issue that responds to organizing, planning and budgeting we must recognize the human nature/feature of The Body of Christ. On the other hand, when The Church is facing an issue that is spiritual/divine in nature (guidance of The Spirit, people who have spiritual gifts for service, etc.) there must be attention given to address the divine/spiritual nature of The Church.

Where we get into problems leading The Church is when we offer human solutions to what is clearly a spiritual problem. Or, we face the same problem when we offer a divine or spiritual answer to a human problem. Church leaders face this "conjunctive" nature of The Church all the time and this accounts for some of the problems in leading a church. We must count for Bothe realities of the body of Christ (The Church) as did the early church leaders.

Personal Reflection: What is your "default" response when leading your church/religious organization? How can you adopt this "conjuctive nature of leading with respect to the church/religious organization you find yourself leading?