Monash University

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Developing appropriate Christian leadership amongst the Enga people of Papua New Guinea.

posted on 2017-02-14, 00:37 authored by Grant, Ian Ludbrook
Effective Christian mission seeks to understand traditional cultural leadership values, patterns and styles in developing appropriate Christian leadership. Unnecessary conflict often occurs during leadership development, due to a lack of understanding of either traditional cultural patterns, or of the essential nature of Christian leadership as seen in the life, teachings and ministry of Jesus , or both. This thesis examines the influence that traditional leadership patterns have had on the developing of appropriate Christian leadership among the Enga people of Papua New Guinea. It examines in particular, the influence that the kamongo (big man) and tee (pig-exchange) paradigms had on the Enga Christian leaders' understanding and practice of their leadership within the new Christian framework. The process of contextualising the Christian faith, specifically the developing of appropriate leadership for the emerging indigenous churches is examined, firstly by utilising perspectives from the social sciences, including cultural anthropology, leadership and contextualisation theories, and secondly by a study of Jesus' modelling and teaching on leadership, and its implementation in the early church. A working definition of appropriate Christian leadership as, the contextually-contingent exercise of authority in the spirit of Jesus within a relationship of influence, to intentionally influence people and effect outcomes, is proposed. This research utilises two methodologies; firstly, a narrative case study providing ethnographic description of the social context drawn primarily from the author's fieldwork, and secondly an extensive theoretical re,-iew and use of relevant literature. These pair to drive a missiological reflection on and critique of the preliminary principles and models emerging from the developing of appropriate Enga Christian leadership, that is Christian leadership that is both Scripturally-faithful (JC+ EC Model) and contextually-authentic. A major theme of this research is the importance of understanding the continuing influence that deep-level cultural leadership paradigms exert in shaping indigenous leaders' motivations, patterns and behaviour in an emerging indigenous church. This study concludes with findings that include pointers for future research emerging from this research.


Principal supervisor

Gary D. Bouma

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Department, School or Centre

School of Social Sciences (Monash Australia)


Doctor of Philosophy

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Faculty of Arts

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