Servant Leadership: Practices
“Conduct: Congregational Leadership Grid - Styles” (SL#68)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® 1:3 - Charting Your Course


Objective of this article:
Effective servant leadership today requires tested leadership options. As introduced in SL#67, “Congregational Leadership Grid - Concepts,” these five leadership styles are based on the content and context of servant leadership. The styles are also supported by a study of contemporary concepts, behavior patterns, and other interactive factors. Now, Five Congregational Leadership Styles:

1. Passive Leadership Style--Congregational Grid 2,2

Similar Styles--focusing most often on the negative:

Key to attribution in the text
(also, see Bibliography/Reference Section)
(CLGrid) Congregational Leadership Grid - Elder
(B/MGrid) The New Managerial Grid - Blake & Mouton
(White) Christian Leadership Grid - Ernest O. White
(H/B) Situational Leadership - Hersey & Blanchard
(Dale) Congregational Leadership Model - Robert Dale
(House) Path-Goal Theory of Leadership - House
3-D “Third-Dimension” situations - Elder

2. Directive Leadership Style--CLGrid 8,2

3. Supportive Leadership Style--CLGrid 2,8

4. Participative Leadership Style--CLGrid 5,5

5. Transformative Leadership Syle--CLGrid 8,8

The CLGrid 8,8 - transformative leadership style, draws upon contingency styles “transforming” or “transformational” discussed in leadership material. Leaders throughout the congregation--but especially those “to whom much is given, much is required”--should consider it as a preferred choice and practice. It embraces the content of servant leadership but still draws upon the other four CLGrid styles based on situation factors: mission, values, goals, tasks, people, and systems. Now, let’s continue our interpretation:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.--Romans 12:2

Similar Styles to 8,8 Transformative--considered by most practitioners as the most effective, but not the only one-best style for every situation; (B/MGrid) sometimes raises unrealistic expectations or is over-complex.

Reflection/Assessment/Application of This Grid:
Congregational Leadership Grid provides five optional leadership styles/behavior patterns. They are interactive, but distinctive; each is valid in certain circumstances, but not equally valuable as a primary style; they are presented in concept but also in specific application. But now, it's up to you. How will you make your choices and establish your pattern of effective leadership? How will you chart your own course?

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© 2006; hosted and copyrighted by Lloyd Elder & Associates, Inc.
For full citation of referenced works, see Bibliography/Links at
Adapted by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., Founding Director, Moench Center for Church Leadership