Be the Example: Christ-Centered Followership in the Pastoral Epistles
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The vast majority of the leadership literature the last century concerned itself with the traits, behaviors, and abilities of leaders. Followers and following, in contrast, received scant attention. The burgeoning discipline of followership aims to address that historic neglect by considering the role followers play along with leaders in producing organizational outcomes. Michael S. Wilder and Timothy Paul Jones correct this deficit in The God Who Goes Before You by presenting a biblical theology of leadership grounded in an awareness of followership theory and research. Their model, Christ-centered followership as pastoral leadership, asserts that the leaders of God’s people are above all followers, “followers of the God who goes before them.” This project seeks to validate their paradigm by analyzing the Pastoral Epistles for evidence of its core conceptual components. In addition to affirming their construct, this work aims to adjust it in light of the imitation motif within 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus and apply it to efforts to develop Christian emerging-adult men as spiritual leaders. To that end, I advance a Christ-centered followership as spiritual leadership model and mentor-oriented pedagogy intended to address the challenges and barriers that often hinder emerging-adult men from exercising biblically grounded leadership.