Are You a Good Theologian and a Bad Leader?
Hint: you can be one and not the other.
I’ve been a theology student for two decades. I regularly speak and write on theological topics. One of my jobs is serving as the dean of a Bible college. I have friends who are trained theologians, and we get deep into theological insider baseball regularly.
But I don’t do much theological writing here. Why? Because my experience with Christian leaders and business owners has taught me that the immediate need of most leaders isn’t a better theology.
When I talk to leaders in a coaching call, we regularly tackle whatever leadership challenges they are facing. Usually, the challenge is with a person, project, team, or decision. Sometimes the problem person is the leader himself. We discuss scheduling, project management, delegation, conflict, skill acquisition, and writing. What I’ve found is that some leaders use theoretical conversation to avoid real skill development and decision-making. You can talk about the theology of delegation and tiered leadership pipelines in Exodus 18, elaborating on how those concepts have been expressed in presbyterial polity for four centuries, or . . . you can learn how to delegate better in your organization. If you lead a team or organization and don’t get to the second option, the first doesn’t matter.
Are practical leadership skills adiaphora? Of course not. I believe that my theology degree and experience give me a unique perspective and value-add for leaders in any organization in any sector.
So, if you’re a Christian leader, don’t neglect developing practical leadership skills. Don’t let your love of theology make you an inept leader.
“You can talk about the theology of delegation and tiered leadership pipelines in Exodus 18, elaborating on how those concepts have been expressed in presbyterial polity for four centuries, or . . . you can learn how to delegate better in your organization.”
-- might be my line from a blog!!!