Thoughts on #resignationday

So, Dr Rowan Williams is resigning as Archbishop of Canterbury. Personally I find myself in awe of anyone who can withstand the rigours of such a role even for a limited time. It must have felt at times like presiding over the table of a particularly quarrelsome family meal where some want to swap plates, others want to argue over the top of grace, and others want to take their plate away on a tray and  sit in front of the TV. No wonder he has said that his successor will need the “strength of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros”

Before the news of the Arhbishop’s resignation broke, I was reading an article this morning about how we choose our leaders. Apparently it all dates back to our inner caveman:

 Somewhere deep in our psyche, we have a “leadership template” bequeathed by our ancestors. Back in the days when life was feral and strangers meant violence, we sought out leaders who were imposing, physically strong and ready to fight.

The article’s author was suggesting that, even subliminally, we are still choosing our leaders in the same way.

I wonder? Certainly we can expect acres of editorials over the next few months as Dr Williams’ successor is chosen. Different models of leadership, and different techniques for choosing leaders, must be expected to come under heavy scrutiny.

Here’s a question, though. If we give credence to those leaders who seem the strongest – how come the influence of Christ lingers Twenty Centuries later? The “choose-a-leader-by-strong-looks” theory is blown out of the water by he who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him”. (Isaiah 53 v.2)

Just how should the church of Christ (of whatever denominational hue) choose her leaders?