One of these days when the PhD is written – and bear in mind this may therefore be some time! – I’d like to think about what it means to be a leader characterised by the prophetic. As ever, the A in the A&P of me longs to engage with theological rigour, to write an article which constitutes a definitive review of the research yet also says something new. And the P is desperate to live into this reality from the inside, to express for you what it looks like when prophet and leader collide in one person.
This question has come up recently in the undergraduate classes I teach on Pastoral Leadership as we considered some scholarly and popular thought which suggests that we can draw helpfully from the Old Testament leadership roles of prophet, priest, king and sage to inform our practices of leadership today. I’ve also considered it on the blog before in connection with the work of Alan Roxburgh and mused about what it might mean for me.
As a little marker, the expression of a longing to pursue this one further, here is a quotation from an article by Brueggemann on the topic of prophet leadership. He says that the prophetic tradition aims to:
reimagine the world as though the character of YHWH were a real and lively and engaged agent in the reality of the world…to re-utter YHWH as a living, decisive agent in a world that largely assumed that YHWH was an irrelevant memory.
Reimagining. What else would I choose but a leadership which is this?