Another Model For Leadership

In my previous post, I pointed out the problem with leadership in how it has been utilized in many faith traditions and my own experience with some of the best and the worst of leaders in various traditions.  Yet, I will not disparage the need for spiritual leadership, I just think that it needs a radical transformation.  The model I would like to hold up is that of the soul friend-anamchara.  I hear this and think of the sayings in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible.. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" and "As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another."
A spiritual friend is not one who lords over you.  They are not there to dictate every aspect of your life.  But they are there to challenge you, to help you face your own ego and faults and work to overcome them.  In fact, this can often work both ways.  You can do the same for them.  A model like this just seems so much more healthy than one that speaks from the top down from a leader who has no relational capacity with you, who may not be able to even understand where you are coming from nor your circumstances.  They have no investment in you except to keep you invested in them and what they proclaim as the truth.  In this day and age where religious leaders are accused of being fraudulent, embezzlers, sexual predators and such, perhaps it is time for people of any religion to speak out and say that these people do not speak for you, that there are other ways to grow into a holier life.

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