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Initial question:

While servant leadership can be connected to biblical principles and Christianity, it is not exclusively tied to it. In what ways do the principles of servant leadership cross religious and cultural lines? Justify your opinions by providing specific examples.

My response:

In the modern world, servant leadership is a term used to denote a leader who is selfless, and always prioritize the needs and wellbeing of his/her followers. For most people, servant leadership is one who is always willing to serve and to lead as an example in all endeavors. Some principles associated with this leader include community building, stewardship, Awareness, healing, empathy, and listening among others (Kiersch, & Peters, 2017). A key issue with these principles is that most of them are grounded in biblical teachings and Christianity, and hence cannot apply to people whose culture or religion is not tied to Christianity. In most cases, these principles are connected to the Bible, and Jesus Christ is regarded as the epitome of servant leadership (Crowther, 2018). For instance, during his time on earth, he raised the dead, healed the sick, and was always concerned with the well being of those around him.

These principles assume a homogeneous society, whereby every person can relate to biblical teachings and or, the teachings of Jesus Christ. In doing so, these principles ignore the cultural and religious diversity between the various groups that exist (Carroll, & Patterson, 2016). Connecting servant leadership to Christianity not only introduces complications but also crosses cultural and religious lines. For instance, in doing so, we assume that everyone is a Christian and that they can easily relate to the doctrine of Christianity, as well as the life of Jesus Christ. Regarding culture, we must acknowledge that cultures differ, and so does a society’s definition of a servant leader differ. For instance, when one suggests that a servant leader is one who shows empathy, the definition only holds to people of certain cultures or societies. In some cultures, for instance, a leader who is shrewd, and ruthless might be termed as a servant leader, since he is ruthlessness helps maintain order, hence protecting the other members of the society.

Respond to this reply from a classmate:

I appreciate your stance and understand the ties to Christianity that may not apply to everyone. There are many leaders that are not Christian that can be identified as servant leaders. Two that come to mind are the Dalai Lama and Mahatma Ghandi. I think regardless of your culture or religion, as a leader, you can choose to be selfless and serve others. If you believe your role is to serve a higher purpose your culture and religion will support and enhance your work.

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