Joshua D. Henson, Ph.D.
Regent University
School of Business and Leadership

On behalf of the Regent University's School of Business and Leadership and the editorial board of the Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, I thank you for your support of the journal.

This issue continues our mission of exploring, engaging, and extending the field of knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of leadership as found within the contexts of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. We begin 2022 with a special issue of the journal that stems from our 2021 Regent Roundtables on biblical diversity and unity.



The presenters from the roundtable were invited to submit their manuscripts for consideration of this special issue.

The JBPL is not possible without the guidance and leadership from our respected reviewers and the visionary support of Dr. Gomez and Dr. Winston at the School of Business and Leadership at Regent University.

Grace and peace in the name of Jesus Christ.

Hospitality in Gospel Leadership: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Diane J. Chandler, Ph.D.

This paper explores the role of hospitality in gospel leadership, defined as the act of presenting the person, character, and work of Christ to others through the power of the Holy Spirit. With hospitality entailing a warm welcome and meeting the needs of the stranger or outsider, the paper first examines the John 4:4-42 narrative where Jesus engages the Samaritan woman in a hospitality tandem, all designed to draw her into a saving knowledge of himself. The historical background regarding the animosity between Jews and Samaritans serves as a backdrop to their interaction. A brief literary analysis of the John 4 text highlights the hospitality theme, extending to the townspeople whom she beckons to meet Jesus. Second, the paper highlights other instances in the New Testament where hospitality demonstrates gospel leadership in the four gospels, Acts, and the epistles. The third section of the paper offers practical applications connecting the theme of hospitality to gospel leadership. The paper concludes by highlighting the necessity of the Holy Spirit in guiding genuine hospitality initiatives to nurture relationships with the other—all in hopes of being Christ's heart, hands, and feet for gospel advance.
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Building Sustainable Business from Diverse Teams: An Intertexture and Social and Cultural Texture Analysis of Jesus' Recruitment Exercise as an Authentic Leader
Oluwatoyin O. Olanrewaju

This paper aimed to explore the authentic leadership (AL) of Jesus through the recruitment exercise of the twelve disciples as captured in Mark 1:16-20; 3: 13-19; Mathew 4:18-22, 10:1-4; and Luke 5:1-11, 6: 12-16. Then, link this attribute to the building of sustainable Christianity as a guide to building sustainable organizations. The methodology for the paper was Socio-Rhetorical Analysis (SRA), precisely its subsets of intertextual analysis and social and cultural texture analysis. The SRA revealed Jesus as an authentic leader, judging by the alignment of his recruitment actions with the four components of ALT: Self-awareness, balanced processing, relational transparency, and internalized moral perspective (Walumbwa et al., 2008). ALT has some limitations. For instance, authentic leaders should not divulge certain personal information that would be counterproductive to achieving corporate goals. Despite the criticism of this construct, the sheer number of empirical evidence of its veracity has made it still a subject of interest to both practitioners and researchers. Further research is needed to strengthen further the impact of diversity in building sustainable organizations, as shown in Jesus' recruitment exercise and result.
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Acts 15: The Jerusalem Council as a Model for Unity, Diversity, and Discipleship
Deborah L. Welch

The declaration of the Gospel message provides the indicative premise for the imperatives of the Great Commission and the greatest commandments (Ferguson, 1989). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to conduct a theological analysis of Acts 15, demonstrating the pericope as a model for unity in diverse ecclesial contexts with five practical principles for discipleship in the 21st century. Utilizing Osborne's (2016) hermeneutical method, the text, its historical context, and the appropriate application for contemporary disciples is discussed. The framework for discipleship application will use Vanhoozer's (2016) categories that define the universal church: faith, Christ, scripture, and the glory of God. Those application principles for disciples, as well as the theological basis found in the pericope in Acts 15, illumine unity and diversity through the scripture and polity as primary goals in the early church and for ecclesial leaders today. Finally, the telos of the principles for discipleship is to fulfill the great commission and to live out the greatest commandments to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves (English Standard Version, 2001/2016, Luke 10:27).
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Shared Leadership Theory in Acts 15:1-35
Steven Mickel

According to an innertexture analysis of Acts 15:1-35 shared leadership was essential to the New Testament church. An exhaustive literature review provides an overview of shared leadership theory in the ecclesial environment and includes a discussion of why one should examine this theory from a biblical perspective. The research showed an underlying biblical foundation for shared leadership. Nevertheless, much of the current literature regarding shared leadership in the ecclesial setting does not employ qualitative research from a biblical perspective. Utilizing Robbins' (1996) innertexture analysis revealed several antecedents, outcomes, and biblical perspectives of shared leadership theory from Acts 15:1-35. The antecedents included in this discussion are team heterogeneity and a charismatic leader. Outcomes included better decision-making and higher team satisfaction. The application of biblical perspectives from the innertexture analysis occurred throughout the discussion regarding shared leadership theory.
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The Benefit of Role Reversal for Servant Leaders and Their Followers: A Genre Analysis of Philemon
Deborah L. Welch

Among the New Testament canonical epistles, Paul's letter to Philemon serves as an exemplary text for illustrating Servant Leadership in a beneficial way for both the early church and contemporary Christian leaders. Using Osborne's (2006) epistle genre analysis, this study analyzes Paul's letter to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus, while reviewing Servant Leadership theory and emphasizing how the kingdom concept of role reversal advances the importance and possibility of leaders as servants first in the church. Kingdom dynamics that emphasize role reversal between leaders and followers also align Greenleaf's Servant Leadership theory together with Paul's teaching in his epistles and Jesus' commands in the Gospel narratives. Thus, Paul's letter to Philemon effectively portrays a paradigm-shifting, worldview renovation that persuades others by love and example to serve one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
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From the Pastor's Desk: A Quantitative Analysis of African American Pastors' leading with Congregants Experiencing Mental Health Issues
Mildred D. Williams

Several studies indicate there may be a significant increase in African Americans being diagnosed and suffering with severe mental illnesses (Avent, Cashwell, & Brown-Jeffy, 2015; Williams & Cabrera-Nguyen, 2016). Many African Americans, however, are shown to seek psychological support from their pastors rather than seek formal mental health services (Avent et al., 2015; Hays, 2015; Stansbury, Harley, King, Nelson & Speight, 2012). Researchers suggest that the Black pastor is perceived as a respected community leader who is firmly embedded within the African American community, where they acquire a significant degree of community admiration, influence, respect, and civic responsibility that justifiably classifies them in a unique honorable position (Mercer, 2013). The purpose of this research study was to explore through a correlation, quantitative methodological study utilizing the Demographic Data Questionnaire, The Mental Health Counseling Survey (MHCS) and The Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPHS), how the African American pastor as a leader addresses mental illness with their congregants as well as determine the crucial role the pastor has in assisting their congregants who seek professional help for mental illness. Further, this research assessed the correlation between a Pastor's education and their understanding of mental health and their willingness to refer their congregants to a mental health provider.
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A Resource for Christians to Discuss Racial Unity from the Foundation of Scripture: Review of the Small-group Curriculum Reconciled: A Biblical Approach to Racial Unity
Heidi R. Ventura and Nori Shoji-Schaffner

This review of the small-group curriculum Reconciled: A Biblical Approach to Racial Unity provides context for its importance and relevance in today's culture. The format of the six sessions is described along with two additional significant resources – the evaluation mechanism for models of racial reconciliation and the glossary. Christians must be willing to engage in relationships with one another; it is through our love for each other that God's love will be evidenced.
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