The biggest difference between servant leadership and stewardship is that

Servant Leadership or Steward Leadership? In "Steward Leadership in the Non-Profit Organization", Kent Wilkid supplies the idea of steward leadership as both even more biblical and more appropriate than servant leadership

For as lengthy as I can remember, I’ve been taught that great leaders are servant leaders. Especially in the conmessage of Christian minisattempt, servant leadership is often juxtaposed to a CEO-style of management and also held up as the virtuous method for Christians to lead.

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The initially time I was ever before exposed to someone that clearly stated that he didn’t prefer the term "servant leadership" was in a book by Duane Elmer titled Cross-Cultural Servanthood. Elmer was dissatisfied with the term for two reasons. First, many people who case to be servant leaders aren’t. Second, we don’t develop equivalent hybrids for other spiroutine gifts in the church (i.e. servant-teacher, servant-helper, etc). Honestly, in spite of the reality that I’ve taught servant management myself over the years, I’ve never before quite been satisfied via it either, though I couldn’t pinsuggest why. I simply figured it was most likely the best means to describe how Christian leadership need to work-related.

As it transforms out, Duane Elmer and also I aren’t the only two that feel this way. In Steward Leadership in the Non-Profit Organization, Kent Wilboy provides the concept of steward management as both even more biblical and also even more correct than servant leadership. And while he concentrates his attention in this book on applying steward management to the non-profit sector, the ethics are easily transferrable to the church and, to a somewhat lesser degree, for-profit businesses too.

The first third of Wilson’s book looks at the function of the steward in biblical and also historic perspective. While it’s a little difficult sledding, it is academically interesting and also a vital structure for the theory of steward management he proposes in the book’s second half. Quite frankly, after analysis just how much the Old and also New Testaments talk about the steward’s function, and also after reading a synopsis of Jesus’ own references to stewards in his parables, I wonder why this idea of stewardship is so brand-new to us in the conmessage of leadership.

The second half of Wilson’s argument is intensely valuable. He outlines the distinctions in between just how servant leaders and also steward leaders actually lead, and then shows exactly how the many various individuals in an company (CEO/executive, staff, boards, stakeholders, etc.) relate to one another within the scope of steward leadership.

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With Wilson’s understanding that all stewards are servants, however not all servants are stewards, right here are some of the main methods he differentiates servant and steward leadership:

Servant Leadership

Steward Leadership


To ensure that other people’s highest-priority requirements are being met and they build as persons

To achieve the objectives of the owner and also stakeholders by controlling people and sources for growth

Core Identity



Format of Leadership


Shifts in between authoritarian and also participative

Motivation for Leadership

Intrinsic: altruism (selfmuch less pursuit of the interemainder of others), company to others

Intrinsic: altruism, obligation, respect for authority


Listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment, community

Accountcapability, faithfulness, submissiveness, humility, knows the owner (relationship), mission focus, non-ownership, self-sacrifice, risk-taking

Key Action

Serve people’s highest-priority needs; “servant initially, leader second”

Lead the company to achieve the desires and objectives of the owner and also stakeholders, serve the owner and also stakeholders, leverage and thrive the resources

Goal of Leadership

Empowered followers

Fulfilled mission, sustainable organization

What might be the majority of interesting to me around the roles of business leaders as identified by Wilkid is the shared interdependence he proposes, particularly in between the optimal executive (or lead pastor in a local church) and also the board. The general direction of neighborhood church governance (especially in brand-new churches wbelow church planters are crafting their very own governance structures) is relocating toward a pastor-centric management version wbelow the board exists mainly to support the pastor’s vision.

But Wilkid takes an extremely various strategy. He actually locations the organization’s board in the function of chief steward, the CEO/lead pastor in the duty of understeward, God is the owner and he refers to the congregational members as implicit huguy owners.

The argued division of responsibilities and also guidelines for proper interaction between board and pastor are as well detailed to outline here. I will say that it’s worth analysis and also that many pastors will be challenged by Wilson’s expertise of the board’s function as steward and the pastor’s role as understeward, particularly given that that’s not the norm in many type of evangelical churches.

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What I a lot of appreciate around Wilson’s explacountry of the steward management model is his inspiration, which seems to be authentically grounded in biblical ethics. He wisely and also carefully advises leaders against the slippery slope of an ownership mentality, an exhortation that leaders in Jesus’ church, regardmuch less of place or duty, must eagerly heed.

Book Reviewed:Kent R. Wilchild, Steward Leadership in the Non-Profit Organization. (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016)