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Acta Theologica

On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Print version ISSN 1015-8758

Acta theol. vol.41 n.1 Bloemfontein  2021 



Using business leadership models to analyse leadership stances in a developmental organisation in the Cape Flats



R. Tucker

Dr. R. Tucker, Research Fellow Deparmtent Practical anc Missional Theology, University of the Free State. E-mail:; ORCID:




This practical theological multidisciplinary research investigates the leadership stances in a Christian developmental organisation operating in gangster-ridden communities in the Cape Flats within the Cape Town conurbation. In this article "stance" is used as a technical term referring to certain well-defined aspects of a leader's outlook and approach. The organisation is evaluated using a Christian transcendental leadership stance developed by integrating the transactional, transformational and transcendental business leadership stances with Christian spirituality. The analysis reveals that, within the overall transcendental leadership stance of the researched organisation, the primary purpose and motivational incentivisation is transformational. It is suggested that the research may provide leaders of other and African Christian developmental organisations with useful and productive insights into their own organisations.

Keywords: Practical theology, Transcendental leadership approach, Christian developmental organisation, Transformation

Trefwoorde: Praktiese teologie, Transendentale, leierskapsbenadering, Christelike, ontwikkelingsorganisasie, Transformasie




This research attempts to answer the question: "What might an analysis of a Christian developmental organisation, using the framework developed with the help of current business leadership models, reveal about its business leadership model(s)." This involves the subsidiary question: "How might the Christian theology and spirituality of the organisation's leader and its leadership team and their business leadership model(s) mutually enhance each other and their transformational and missional effectiveness."

This practical theological multidisciplinary research, which uses the case study approach, employs a hermeneutical critical approach using current business leadership theory, in conjunction with Christian spirituality, to investigate a Christian developmental organisation. A transversal,1 "good practice" approach is used, making it conceptually possible for members of different fields to engage in rational communication across disciplinary lines at points of intersection (Osmer 2008:171).

Research is done on leadership style, because leaders are considered to be the primary influencers in organisations (Osmer 2008:26). This suggests that the chosen method of research should be a case study, in order to familiarise the researcher with the pertinent issues. For the purposes of this research, development is defined as growth, "which invokes creation, culture, education, ownership and control, (and) the satisfaction of fundamental human needs" (Carmen 1996:209).

The case study organisation (CSO) is one of many non-profit organisations (NPOs) seeking to rehabilitate gangsters who, it is hoped, will contribute towards transforming vulnerable communities across the Cape Flats. The latter is a densely populated area in the Cape Town conurbation, stretching from east of the northern and southern suburbs of Cape Town almost to Somerset West. It developed as a result of forced removals, according to the Group Areas Act, together with an influx of migrant labour, predominantly from the Eastern Cape.



In this article, I use Mattessich and Monsey's (2004:56) definition of community as

[p]eople who live within a geographically defined area and who have social and psychological ties with each other and with the place where they live.

Mattessich and Monsey (2004:59) describe community development as

involvement in a process to achieve improvement in some aspect of community life where normally such action leads to the strengthening of the community's pattern of human and institutional relationships.

Community development is a complex and multidisciplinary area of human welfare aimed at improving quality of life. It evolved from an original needs-based emphasis, so that it now concerns not only the physical realm of community, but also the social, cultural, economic, political and environmental aspects (Phillips & Pittman 2008:xxiv). It is, therefore, often considered as both a process and an outcome (Phillips & Pittman 2008:5). One of the outcomes of a community is that it seeks the development of its human capital, by developing skills, capabilities and experience (Phillips & Pittman 2008:6). These two aspects of process and outcome particularly align the community with some of the concerns of business organisations. This indicates that community development can learn something from what are considered to be good business leadership models.

A Christian developmental organisation is defined as one that self-identifies with a Christian theological "understanding of man, society and history" (Swart 2006:1). It may be affiliated to a specific congregation, denomination or network of congregations, or else operate as an independent self-identifying Christian organisation seeking to fulfil the purposes of the kingdom. Because the ministry in Christian developmental organisations is much more limited than that of a normal congregation,2 they tend to be more task oriented and often demand more commitment from their members.3 This would suggest that the leadership theories developed for business practice might beneficially apply to parachurch organisations.

As opposed to secular organisations, Christian developmental organisations have the advantage of being able to adopt a holistic approach to development. By this I mean that they are able to address both the material and spiritual aspects that could promote or inhibit full development, because, as Swart (2007:122) comments, this calls for

[t]he transformation of individuals and institutions ... which sees us in shalom with God, our fellow human beings, ourselves and all of creation.

Many Christian developmental organisations also link development with transformation. From a Christian theological perspective, this gives them another tremendous advantage over secular organisations. The reason for this is that they are able to take account of the effects of sin combined with the possible restoration of the values of the kingdom, thus giving them the only realistic hope for positive individual and societal transformation (Swart 2007:120-122).



The CSO was launched in 2014 in Cape Town in partnership with The Message Trust, which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1988. Its vision is that, from its base in Cape Town, it will "impact at-risk youth in tough communities across the city and beyond" (Message South Africa Web Page 2021). It is motivated by a passion

about reaching young people - seeking to break the cycle of poverty, unemployment, gangsterism and crime that negatively impacts young people in communities across Cape Town . so that they become godly leaders in their families and communities (Our Message Streams 2018).

It seeks to implement this vision and fulfil this passion by fashioning leaders from within the framework of the Message global family, as they "live and laugh" together (Tucker 2018:16).

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to both the global Executive Board and the South African Board of Trustees. He is jointly supervised by the chairman of the Global Board and the chairman of the South African Board. A South African Advisory Board deals with finances and governance. As of 2021, the CEO oversees six departments, namely prison ministry, community transformation, training and equipping, creative mission, administration, communications, and fundraising, each with different managers and a different membership. The leadership team is divided into a Message Executive Team and the "leadership" team proper (Tucker 2021).

As of 2020, the CSO has a non-racial staff of 28, of whom three are international volunteers (Message South Africa Web Page 2021). The staff are remunerated by the CSO, except for the international staff who are supported by their mission churches. The policy of remunerating the staff was adopted from the inception of the organisation. According to the CEO, this was to encourage commitment and loyalty as well as incentivise ex-offenders to acquire the skills required for remunerative employment (personal communication, August 2018).

Two individuals from the global north started the CSO in 2014, in Salt River, Cape Town, with one community-involvement project called the Eden project and a local outreach. The Eden project, a partnership with local congregations, involves families choosing to live in vulnerable communities on the Cape Flats. Their aim is to build relationships with neighbours and others in those communities, in order to expose them to the transformative power of the gospel. As of 2019, three of these projects are in operation (The Message Trust 2019-2020).

By 2019/2020, five projects had been organised, namely the Eden Project; a training academy; a young people's communal hub in Nyanga, meeting in a container; a discipleship house in Mowbray for ex-offenders to reintegrate them into the community; two cafés ("Gangstar Cafés") in Mowbray and Durbanville, to create job opportunities for ex-offenders, and a project with 140 local churches to share the gospel, with contemporary music and drama in local schools (The Message Trust 2019-2020). However, the COVID-19 crisis meant that some of these projects had to be put on hold temporarily and others adjusted to adhere to social distancing guidelines.4

The CSO gathers and retains supporters through annual report-back rallies, where it shares and updates its goals and objectives and outlines its plans for the following year. I attended three of these rallies (2016, 2017, 2019). It is estimated that roughly 300 to 400 people attended each meeting (by counting the occupied rows and columns of seats). As far as I was able to observe, it seemed that these people, of all age groups from teenagers, families with children to the elderly, came from many diverse socio-economic and cultural communities in the Cape Town area.

At these meetings, choirs of from 20 to 30 young people from the local prison, where the CSO has its ministry, sang Christian songs. One or two of them spoke of how their lives had been changed through the in-house prison cooperative learning programme operated by the CSO. For instance, in 2016, a future 2017 leadership team focus-group participant spoke about how, prior to being contacted by the CSO, he was an incarcerated gang leader, who could neither read nor write. He professed that this resulted in his life being morally transformed, with the desire to acquire an education. He successfully completed matric and is now active in his local community.



The purpose and the social context in which an organisation operates determines what leadership stance will be most effective (Veldsman 2017:16). The Cape Flats communities may be categorised as vulnerable communities. Chambers (1995:10) defines vulnerable communities as those that are materially poor and the inhabitants defenceless against misfortune and crime. As a result, they are open to exploitation, crime, socio-economic dysfunctionality, damaging loss, illness, accidents, the perils of childbearing, and are unable to accumulate financial reserves (Myers 2011:113-144).

Miller and Myer's (2007:2) research suggests that an experience of a lifetime of suffering, of exclusion and having to deceive in order to survive, is often internalised by many in vulnerable communities and becomes how they perceive their identity. They come to believe that they are and were always meant to be without value. Every need is then oriented around a fear of lack in the future because of a chronic experience of lack in the past. Consequently, the pathologies of these communities profoundly destroy the human personality (Dames 2010:3).

The organisation specifically targets incarcerated offenders and young adults associated with gangs5 and gangsters in these communities. The gangs' criminal activities range from theft, housebreaking, peddling drugs, and smuggling abalone to intimidation and murder. This is often accompanied by extreme gun violence that sometimes culminates in vicious all-out street battles between rival gangs, which may cause death or injury to innocent bystanders (Pinnock 2016a:4-5).

Gangs have flourished in these communities as a result of a complex set of interacting problems. These may be simplified as historical and present inequities, injustice, widespread unemployment, and the forced removals of the apartheid era, which have created a sense of alienation and dispossession.

The forced removals, which created many Cape Flats communities, increased antagonism towards societal authority structures. They also destroyed existing support structures, previously created by social connectedness, which resulted in the loss of the unofficial policing that had mostly until then restrained major criminality (Pinnock 2016b:loc552-577).

Criminal activity is aggravated by the need to survive, because only the criminal economy provides employment to thousands of individuals. It is often "the only realistic option available to many families to ensure even the basic level of subsistence" (Richards 2015:38, 85). This provides a fertile breeding ground for a violent gang culture (Lewis 2010:11), which particularly affects the youth who have nothing to do but hang out in the streets, form criminal gangs, and fight. They do this knowing that "death before the age of 30 is a strong possibility" (Pinnock 2016a:4).

These gangs have created a "life world" that provides members with an alternate, complete, countercultural reality (Lewis 2010:20, 24). Their pseudo-religious counterculture fulfils psychosocial needs such as the need to belong, be accepted, a sense of self-worth and purpose (Richards 2015:14). This has been aggravated by the influence of the Numbers gangs. Since they originated in South African prisons, their influence, myths, hierarchical organisation and rules have increasingly influenced gangs outside the prisons through those who have been released into the community upon completion of their sentences (Pinnock 2016b:loc1959-2998).

This toxic mix of ingredients makes gangsters resistant to change. Pinnock (2016a:265) asked the head of the Ministry of Social Development in the Western Cape: "How do we change a gangster so that he might live beyond the orbit of gangs?" His reply may be simplified as "What changes a mindset? We don't know?". Nevertheless, a clue that the situation is not totally hopeless lies in a current saying on the Cape Flats: "There are only two ways out of a gang, and this is death or religion" (ex-gang leader, personal communication 2019). Gangs respect religion, because they themselves are ritualistic and constantly facing death, so that the transcendent is always on their minds (Pinnock 2016a:266). This helps them understand the Christian faith's claim that anyone can be changed.



This section outlines the general details of the research covering the Message and the in-depth results that emerged from the focus-group meeting.

5.1 General details

Information was garnered concerning the CSO since 2017, using participatory research involving attending the organisation's promotional public events; co-presenting with the CEO at a diaconia conference workshop6 in 2018; an interview with two staff7 members involved in the prison ministry in February 2019, and visiting one of its Gangstar Cafés. Other information was derived from the organisation's webpages; the CEO's book Grab a towel (Tucker 2018); informal interviews and online communication with the CEO, the Chief Operating Officer (COO)8 and the pastoral care assistant (who also oversees the discipleship house). Ethnographic aspects of the research were informed by my involvement in a non-racial congregation, and attendance at one of its small fellowship groups on the Cape Flats for two years.

5.2 The focus-group interview

The research into the organisation started a focus-group interview conducted with the organisation's ten strong, multicultural leadership team in January 2017. The objective was to assess how the leadership team experienced the CEO's leadership style, its strengths and weaknesses, and how that might be categorised from business, theological and spiritual perspectives.

The interview was conducted with the ten people comprising the, then, leadership team. The group included eight males and two females. Six of the leadership team had their roots in vulnerable communities. The group consisted of the Administration and Fund Raising manager, the Eden Teams manager, the Church Liaison, the Business Enterprise manager, the School's coordinator, the Sales and Marketing manager, the Band manager, the Operations manager, the Gangster Team manager, and the Chief Operations manager.

The proper ethical processes were followed in implementing the interview. Unfortunate circumstances prevented the CEO from being present, as he was on compassionate leave.9 He gave his consent and had no problems with the transcript. His absence may indeed have helped the interviewers share more freely. Despite the focus-group interview being conducted in January 2017, its results are still pertinent to the CSO (as of June 2020), since only two members have subsequently left the organisation.

My previous lack of research in this area suggested that conducting a semi-structured focus-group interview was the best procedure to be used, in order to create a preliminary conceptual theory (Morse 1994:39; Glaser 2002:n.p.). I had prepared five questions, of which only three were answered in the two-hour interview: 1. How long have you been involved with the Message Trust. 2. What is your current position/job at the Message Trust? 3. How have you personally experienced CEO's leadership?

I did not need to ask more questions other than facilitate the flow of conversation, because the participants were eager, seemed free to share in a voluble manner, were difficult to interrupt, or even guide. The result was that I covered all of my bases. The ambiance was friendly, evidencing strong positive and honest relationships, with strong opinions. In fact, one of respondents noted that, as none of the CEO's weaknesses had been shared, it would be good to do so. But the team rejected this suggestion in good humour. However, some of these weaknesses were admitted, either directly or indirectly, at later stages of the two-hour, intensive interview.

Data was recorded, transcribed manually and then coded. It was analysed, using a modified conceptual grounded theory approach, as described by Rubin and Rubin (2012:204). The positive core codes emerging from the focus-group interview concerning the CEO included strong vision, widely resourced, innovation, fun, spiritual, relational, cultural sensitivity, networking, and empowerment. The weaknesses included lack of attention to detail, drivenness, and not being regarded as a pastoral leader. This gave rise to the suspicion that, at times, his broad academic background, wide range of contacts and constant innovation might lead team members to rely too much on his abilities, without asking their own questions about the work they were doing.

Upon reflection, I interpreted the interview as revealing that the team are intensely loyal to the CEO, liking and respecting him, and are committed to his vision, sharing his Christian faith and desire for community development in the Cape Flats. This may have emerged from their shared concern as to the need because several of them were reframed gangsters who had been helped by the organisation and who wanted to now make a positive contribution. I would suggest that the overly positive attitude was due to the fact that the team are still in the first stage of the entrepreneurial start-up, with the organisation growing rapidly. Subsequent participatory research reinforced this "aura of success", because the CSO seems to be enthusiastically supported in some Christian circles in Cape Town, including the local congregation in which the researcher worships. In my opinion, it also has many influential and discerning business and local community supporters, some of whom I personally met.



As perhaps one of the most influential leadership practitioners over the past 50 years, Burns (1978:2) admits that leadership is "one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth". In order to do research on leadership, a definition and theory is needed as a starting point on the interactive theory-praxis spiral. Veldsman's (2017:12, 18) definition is used for this purpose. He defines leadership as:

[a]cts of persuasive influence, exercised by a collective, engaging followers in enabling and empowering ways with regard to shared goals and a joint course of action, within a specific context.

The analysis uses Veldsman's (2017:18) theoretical meta-framework composed of three main leadership stances - transactional, transformational and transcendental. A leadership stance comprises a leadership's vision. This includes its values; methods; time perspectives; interaction with followers; view of organisational context; cultural influences; religious preferences; worldview; and purpose (Veldsman 2017:16). It provides a framework for a model that enables an analysis of the three leadership attitudes through the actions of purpose, motivational approach, and as scale and method of change (see Table 1). The vast majority of business practitioners referred to in this article view these actions as providing the main distinguishing features of the specific stance of an organisation.




Despite his above admission, Burns (1978) founded the concept of transactional and transformational leadership as a result of applying his studies in political leadership throughout history to business organisations. Conger (2004:1566, 1567) points out that, although Burns viewed these as two opposites on a spectrum, they are, in fact, perhaps better viewed as two dimensions whose characteristics overlap.

7.1 Action 1: Purpose

In the vast majority of business enterprises, the ultimate purpose is similar for both the transactional and transformational leadership stances, namely to maximise profits (Friedman 1962:133; Galbraith 1967:176-179).10

7.2 Action 2: Motivational approach

In business, three main motivational tools are generally employed to encourage the workforce to achieve the above end - rewards, envisioning, and teamwork.

Rewards are a vital factor in motivating followers in every leadership stance (Kouzes & Posner 2007:35, 68, 250). The type of reward offered distinguishes the category of stance. Transactional leaders focus on the "How?", by motivating through an extrinsic reward process, by financially rewarding task competence and rule compliance (Burns 1978:4, 19). The "How?" matters to transformational leaders, but they tend to focus on the "Where to?". For this reason, transformational leaders primarily motivate by means of an inspiring, challenging future-oriented, organisational-transformational vision (Veldsman 2017:18). In addition, their philosophy embraces Drucker's (1973:31) idea that:

[l]eadership is the lifting of a man's vision to higher sights, the raising of a man's performance to a higher standard, the building of a man's personality beyond its normal limitations.

Therefore, they prefer to motivate by rewarding followers through job satisfaction, a sense of personal development, and by communicating to them how their work contributes to the welfare of the organisation. This can be considered an intrinsically based motivational process that harnesses the desires and creativity of followers through their participation within a strong relational framework.

Envisioning. Vision is described as "the ability to think about the future with imagination or wisdom" (Soames 2000:1292). It is accordingly predicated upon creatively imagining how to implement an organisation's purpose. The motivational impact is most effective if it is believable and has the ring of authenticity. This is created by the vision being rooted in "a leader's story, sense of purpose, and values" (Sinek 2017:30). Confidence in the vision is increased, if its initial and all subsequent steps are imaginatively planned by a relentless commitment to inquiry into the forces underlying current reality (Senge 1990, 1994:332). Crucially, it needs to be challenging to emotively incentivise those to whom it is presented (Avolio 2004:1559). It has even greater motivational impact, if its presentation is constantly reiterated, as this provides a renewed sense of purpose for those who have reservations about it or find it difficult to imagine it (Greenleaf 1970:7).

Teamwork and social exchange relationships. "Grand dreams don't become significant realities through the actions of a single person. It requires a team effort" (Kouzes & Posner 2007:20). Teamwork necessitates a social exchange relationship between leaders and the other members of a team. Studies have revealed two types of social exchange relationship that influence the effectiveness of teamwork, namely a work-based exchange relationship and a contributory exchange relationship. In the former, the leader focuses on the work done by the follower. In the latter, the leader is also interested in a follower's personal empowerment and in encouraging him/her to consider how the work might contribute to the benefit of others in the organisation. Furthermore, contributory exchange leaders give followers the opportunity to contribute their own ideas and dreams to the organisation's vision and decision-making. This makes it a much more effective motivational tool than a work-based relationship, because it results in followers owning the organisation's vision. They are then more committed to their role in achieving it (Cardona 2000:201-206).

7.3 Action 3: The scale and method of change

In the contemporary world, the social landscape has become fluid and is rapidly and constantly changing, exacerbated by a "collision of cultures and of worldviews" (Hjalmarson 2018:12, 29). What worked yesterday will not necessarily work today, and no more so than in a postcolonial, post-apartheid South Africa. Transactional leaders try to adapt their organisations in this unpredictable environment through planned incremental, structural change (Quinn 1996:3). By contrast, transformational leaders often adapt with fundamental structural change. Quinn (1996:1) calls this "deep change". Deep change is often disruptive and painful for many, because it involves "a radical change in outward form or inner character" (Burns 2003:24) and therefore needs "new ways of thinking and behaving" (Quinn 1996:3, 5, 32). It is often the only survival option for many organisations, where the previous ways of thinking and acting have become ossified.

Another strategy adopted by transformational leaders is to develop generative11 learning organisations. This appears to be a far more preferable strategy than that of deep change. It is less disruptive and painful, because followers learn to expect constant change, how to adapt to it and are empowered to react to it as soon as it occurs (Senge 1990, 1994:13, 14).



The transcendental stance has only emerged as a theoretical and operational one since the late 1990s. Its conceptualisation was initiated by the fact that the transactional and transformational leadership stances were found to be unsatisfactory to sufficiently motivate human beings to find self-fulfilment and consequently enthusiastically commit to organisational goals (Pink 2009:152174). The idea of a transcendental leadership stance is to encourage and energise commitment to the organisation's goals, by formulating an altruistic purpose (Pink 2009:130).

Some practitioners such as Cardona (2000) and Pink (2009) apply the term "transcendental leadership" to those leaders who use psychosocial altruistic purposes to motivate followers. This would include leaders encouraging followers to find satisfaction in helping others in the organisation (Cardona 2000:205), or in making it one of the organisation's goals to contribute to the welfare of human society (Pink 2000:27, 138). Mitroff and Denton (1999:23) as well as Fry (2003:706) define a transcendental stance as one that harnesses the spiritual beliefs and practices of the collaborators to inculcate more productive organisational harmony and teamwork. They believe, however, that formalised religious beliefs should be excluded in contemporary pluralistic society.

Yet, Hicks (2003:52), with whom I agree, comments that this exclusion neglects the fact that "individual religious beliefs and practices are, for many employees, central to their respective identities". This is certainly the case in South Africa, where the 2001 national census showed that 80 per cent of the respondents professed to be Christians (South African National Census 2001, 2004:24, 27, 28). These percentages may have changed slightly since 2001, but there is no evidence of a significant change. It is thus "descriptively inaccurate and morally problematic" (Hicks 2003:2) to neglect religious affiliation, beliefs and attitudes in the workplace.



The development of the transcendental leadership stance in the business world, with its emphasis on spirituality, paves the way for a constructive dialogue between the practice of spirituality and the business leadership models described earlier. This is an opportunity for both fields of study and practice to learn from each other.

For that reason, I have formulated a Christian transcendental stance, by modifying Veldsman's (2017:18) transcendental leadership stance to incorporate Christian religious beliefs and practices. It is founded on Osmer's (2008:27) statement that Christian spirituality involves the:

Leader's openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as he transforms them toward the image of Christ in the service of the church's mission.

From a Reformed and evangelical perspective, such openness necessitates an experiential encounter and communion with the triune God. This means that the stance will have its theological foundation in the Trinity and incorporate the praxis of spirituality.

9.1 A Trinitarian theological foundation

I am mainly indebted to Zscheile's (2007) article "The Trinity, leadership, and power" for the insights shared below. Yet, as Zscheile (2007:51) himself comments: "[W]e must first recognize the limits of analogy between the Trinity and human community." Thus it must therefore be acknowledged that:

Great care must be taken in drawing out the implications of the claim that the sole ontological basis for the being of the church is ... the communion of Father, Son and Spirit (2003:71).

Yet, with this reservation in mind, I consider a Christian Trinitarian theological stance to be the most appropriate tool by which to analyse a Christian developmental organisation in South Africa, and particularly for the CSO,12. I therefore seek to develop what Osmer (2012:51) calls a "Trinitarian missional ecclesiology of centred openness", and draw practical conclusions from it for three reasons.

First, Christianity would probably be central to the identities and influence, to a greater or lesser extent, the actions of most of its employees; secondly, it embraces a trinitarian theory because "Trinity is the Christian way of saying God" (Barth 1936:346), and thirdly, trinitarian mission seeks to extend God's influence into the community. For as Migliore (2004:82) comments:

We must think of the Trinity first of all as the life of God with and for us here and now . Trinitarian faith is thus expressed not only with our lips but also in our everyday life and practices.

Zscheile (2007:53) concludes that an analogy between the Trinity and leadership indicates that Trinitarian leadership is:

Outward looking and generative ... always seeking to invite and draw all creation into the reconciled communion of the divine life (Zscheile 2007:56).

Even as the Godhead seeks to overflow in transforming love and grace through the Christian community into the world, a Christian leader's concern should be to transform the world, seeking social and political justice at all levels of society. Leadership in the way of the Trinity is profoundly transformational, seeking the flourishing of the other rather than merely accomplishing a particular end or exchanging rewards for compliance (Zscheile 2007:59).

Such leadership would seek to develop a Trinitarian organisation, which embodies the imago Dei and so values the "full humanity and giftedness of others" (Zscheile 2007:53). This leadership is "self-emptying of power and prestige" (Zscheile 2007:54), because, from a Christian perspective, the central theme of the life of the Trinity in the Judeo-Christian scriptures is the Incarnation and the Cross. This means that leaders and the communities they lead try to:

Embrace a level of mutuality, reciprocal acknowledgement of each other's gifts, vulnerability to one another, and genuine shared life that transcends simply getting the job done [and as a result become] learning organizations (Zscheile 2007:57-58).

I would suggest that the most effective way for leaders to embody, in their own lives and leadership, the above practices is of necessity through an intentional praxis of Christian spirituality. A theology that is not intentionally implemented has no likelihood of influencing the praxis of an organisation.

9.2 The praxis of Trinitarian spirituality

There are a number of Trinitarian spiritualties (Venter 2015:3). This makes it difficult to define any Christian spirituality (De Villiers 2008:32, fn 31; Lombaard 2008:94). Out of this potpourri, I have selected elements of, what I would call, a "practical" Trinitarian spirituality that, in my opinion, will best relate to leadership in an evangelical Christian developmental organisation such as the CSO. Any such spirituality must be very practical, especially when applied to the complexities of being in leadership in an organisation with a societal vision.

The simplest description of spirituality is "life with God" (Allen 2010:158). This is expanded by McGrath (1999:2) as:

The quest for a fulfilled and authentic Christian existence involving the bringing together of the fundamental idea of Christianity and the whole experience of living on the basis of and within the scope of that faith.

Contemporary Christian spirituality thus offers a lived religion, which, at its best, constitutes a world appreciative openness that nevertheless sustains its own unique identity (Kourie & Ruthenberg 2008:76).

Christian spirituality should therefore embrace an emphasis on the church's experiential encounter and communion with the triune God, created by Jesus Christ (McGrath 1999:4; Kourie & Ruthenberg 2008:89; Sheldrake 2008:185), through the living out of an experiential encounter (or communion) with the living Christ (McGrath1999:2; Pretorius 2008:147, 158), mediated through the Holy Spirit (Osmer 2008:27). This is necessarily interpreted through the lens of the Judeo-Christian scriptures (Perrin 2007:26, 27; Scorgie 2007:26, 98; Pretorius 2008:159).

It is a transformational spirituality, because, as Dunn (1992:1) observes, "[a]n encounter with Jesus evidently proved for many of his contemporises to be a life-transforming experience". This transformation produces:

Christ-likeness and the restoration of the image of God (2 Peter 1:4), in which humans were originally created (Genesis 1:26) (Pretorius 2008:160).

This image of God is first of all a social likeness. It indicates an ability to reflect in our relations something of the interactive, loving mutuality within the Trinity (Scorgie 2007:29) and should result in "a decisive and distinctive imprint on the spiritual life" (Venter 2015:1).

Such a transformation is a pilgrimage that involves constant self-examination and repentance (Shawchuck & Heuser 1993:37, 51; Perrin 2007:285, 286; Scorgie 2007:26, 98) and is achieved through a life of discipleship that participates ever more deeply in the missio Dei (Sheldrake 2008:184).



I will now describe the Christian transcendental stance pertaining to the three actions used to explain the transactional and transformational stances - purpose, motivational approach, and the scale and method of change in dialogue with a Trinitarian theology and praxis of spirituality.

10.1 Action 1: Transformational purpose facilitated by servant leadership

I suggest that a purpose, consistent with the theology and spirituality suggested earlier, will be a missional participation in the missio Dei. As Sheldrake's (2008:184) statement leads me to suggest, the Christian transcendental leadership stance's answer to the "Why?" is participation in the missio Dei. This is viewed as a Trinitarian movement to the world, in which God the Father, in love, sends God the Son in the power of God the Holy Spirit to bring the world into communion with himself (Purves 1998:225). Wright (2011:8) observes that the missio Dei reveals God not only as personal, but also as purposeful and goal oriented. An example of this purposefulness is the great promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3, where Yahweh promises to bless the nations through the agency of his descendants. The purposed worldwide blessing was finally completed hundreds of years later through Jesus, and through him has become the experience of millions ever since.

The missio Dei has a primary transformative purpose, being "the result of God's initiative, rooted in God's purposes to restore and heal creation" (Guder 1998:4, 5). Dreyer (2013:5) also describes the missio Dei as "ineluctably involving the redemption and transformation of creation". This suggests that a Christian transcendental stance with a transformational purpose is most consistent with the transformational purpose of the missio Dei for a Christian developmental organisation. From now on, I will label this as a transcendental/ transformational leadership stance, for the sake of brevity.

Osmer's (2008:183-194) section on servant leadership suggests that transformational leadership is best achieved through integration with a subsidiary servant leadership approach. This integration is supported by Schröter's (2010:283-290) narrative analysis of Mark, in which he indicates that the author intended to show that Jesus' primary incarnational purpose was to inaugurate the transformative kingdom of God for many. That kingdom, as a reality for many, indeed "dawned through the actions of Jesus" (Schröter 2010:287) culminating in his giving his life, as the ultimate servant leader, to be a ransom for many "άντι πολλών" (Mark 10:45). Yet the reason for his death, as this servant leader, was to accomplish his primary, transformative purpose of liberating all men and women to do the impossible, if they so desired, and enter the kingdom of God and thus be transformed (Mark 10:27).

10.2 Action 2: Motivational incentivisation

The Trinitarian, theologically based spirituality outlined earlier suggests that motivation will be implemented through prophetic discernment and Holy Spirit envisioning.

Decisions informed by prophetic discernment. The staff's knowing that the purpose and decisions of an organisation are the result of prophetic discernment provides a strong motivational incentivisation. This is reinforced when they are allowed to share in this process. Prophetic discernment involves seeking divine disclosure and the human shaping of God's word for the present (Osmer 2008:133, 134). This discernment employs all the actions (individually and corporately) inspired by the Christian tradition, such as dwelling in God's word, prayer, and consciously seeking to encounter Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Authentic discernment requires a deep realisation of human inadequacy, and empathy for the suffering created by sin and pain. Humility is also crucial. A leader needs to accept that it is impossible to perfectly discern the transcendent God's will about the decisions s/he has to make, in order to achieve an organisation's purpose.13

Envisioning. Prophetic discernment lays the foundation for the transcendental/transformational leader to envision an organisation, provided this has been followed with the procedures and values such as a desire for transformation, a servant-leadership attitude, dwelling in God's word, prayer, seeking to encounter Christ through the Holy Spirit, a realisation of human inadequacy, and empathy for others. Envisioning is an essential step in this stance, since it motivates the confidence and the commitment that energises a staff member in the purpose, vision and decisions of an organisation. It has several precedents in the New Testament scriptures14 and in the Book of Hebrews, in particular.

I would suggest that Koester's (2010:609-631) socio-rhetorical analysis of the Book of Hebrews is an example of presenting a vision that inspires, renews, and energises commitment. The author seeks to re-energise a commitment to a vision of the future, which is finally presented in Hebrews 12:18-28. Hebrews is one of early Christianity's most carefully crafted sermons, "designed to renew the faith of its readers" (Koester 2010:613, 614). Not only faith to continue to persevere despite difficulties but also a faith that inspires them to be God's missional people involved in compassionate service (Brown 2000:258, 261). Such sermons or speeches were called "deliberative" and sought to encourage listeners to follow a certain course of action, by using recommended rhetorical devices employed in the literature of the time. According to Koester (2010:626628), the devices recommended by the pagan authorities of the author's era included ethos, which establishes the presenter as one who is both authoritative and sympathetic and who understands the situation; pathos appeals to emotion, and logos is a carefully crafted argument or speech. A reading of Hebrews reveals that the author uses all of these rhetorical devices.

As regards ethos, authority is established through the use of quotations from the Old Testament scriptures. In addition, the author frequently uses the first person plural, indicating that, because the message is rooted in his/her own story, experience and struggles, s/he understands the readers' or listeners' problems.

Pathos is employed by arousing emotions through a vivid, emotive portrayal of examples of persevering faith in the midst of hardship, opposition and suffering, from Abel to the Maccabean martyrs, culminating in the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus (11:1-12:2). The author uses the rhetorical technique of "anaphora", the continuous repeating of a key word or phrase, in this case, "by faith", to heighten the emotion and emphasise his message.

The entire book is an example of logos, the argument being carefully developed layer upon layer to reach a climax. The author uses the momentum coming from the emotional climax (11:11-12:2) as a springboard to exhort them through faith to follow Jesus' example of perseverance so that they do not miss the promised reward (12:18-27). This they are to do by showing their gratitude to God through lives that offer praise to him and service to others (12:28-13:21).

This example of envisioning is similar to that proposed by business practitioners for the transformational envisioning process described earlier. Both are future oriented, authentic, rooted in a leader's story, sense of purpose, and values, imaginatively presented, emotive, challenging, and reiterative. The greatest and most important difference being that the envisioning presented in Hebrews has an infinitely greater authoritative status than that coming from any human imagination. Other than that, the similarities support the inclusion of a transformational envisioning procedure within a Christian transcendental/transformational leadership stance.

10.3Action 3: Scope and method of change

The Trinitarian theologically based spirituality outlined earlier suggests that the change will be transformational and transcendental in nature. Christian developmental organisations, with a transcendental/transformational leadership stance, are necessarily concerned with change in three areas, namely the organisation, the individual staff member and that within the communities, in which they are working. The transformational aim is to maintain effectiveness, by constantly adapting to a changing context and foster individual and community "Christ-likeness and the restoration of the image of God (2 Peter 1:4)" (Pretorius 2008:160). This is a pilgrimage at all three levels, mentioned earlier, that involves constant self-examination and repentance (Shawchuck & Heuser 1993:3-38, 50-55; Scorgie 2007:26, 98). The hope is to begin to produce the dynamics of Christ's life: joy, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and justice, so that every human being is able to realise the fullness for which God created them.



The research results are described below, using the three determinative actions of purpose, motivation as well as method and scope of change.

11.1 Action 1: Purpose

The focus-group meeting did not discuss the participant's views concerning the purpose of the organisation, which was an important omission. The literature and participatory research, mentioned in section 3, made it very clear, however, that the CSO has a transformational/transcendental leadership stance and that this has happened to individuals who have had contact with the organisation. Indeed, the prison team, when interviewed, were very emphatic about the moral and spiritual transformation they sought with the counsellors. There is no evidence as yet that this transformational purpose has had any significant impact on any vulnerable communities.

11.2 Action 2: Motivation

The focus-group discussion may be interpreted as revealing that the motivational impetus came from the CSO's vision (in partnership with the leadership team), sought by means of prophetic discernment and teamwork.

Action 2: Motivation through vision. The focus group agreed that the main motivational impetus for the organisation came from the CEO's vision. This became very clear from the focus-group meeting, where the first comment was about the energising impact of the CEO's vision on them. They all agreed that the CEO "has the vision [and is a] visionary leader, [and] has the ability ... (to see) gaps that need to be filled" (focus group). It has an authoritative ring of God-given authenticity, because it is based on the CEO's story. The story goes that, as far back as 2002, God began to motivate him to invest in young marginalised African leaders so that they would be better equipped to reach their "gangster"-infested communities with the gospel, and this seems to be happening at present (Tucker 2018:51-59).

Action 2: Motivation through confidence by prophetic discernment. The team expressed confidence in the vision and decisions of the organisation because of the priority the CEO gives to prophetic discernment. They observed that the CEO "takes time to seek God's will when facing problems ... and makes all his decisions prayerfully". They also openly expressed confidence that his decisions are realistic and grounded in contextual and cultural reality, because, as they said, he reads about pertinent issues and networks with other Christian developmental organisations and churches involved in the Cape Flats.

Action 2: Motivation through teamwork. The team agreed that the CEO encouraged others in the team to also prophetically discern God's will concerning decisions and discuss together what they believe God said to them. For instance, when the team initially resisted a decision that the CEO believed needed to be made about relocating to larger premises, he "patiently" (sic) listened to their objections. The final decision to relocate was only made when all the team members had come on board.

The interview also revealed that the group was of the opinion that the CEO has "tremendous relational strengths". They enthusiastically agreed that he is an effective team player and "leads together with people". He is not only able to theoretically process ideas, but he is also practical and has the ability to explain his ideas by coming "down (sic) to the level of understanding of the team".

Action 2: Motivation through co-leadership with the COO. The current COO previously worked for several years in another organisation with the CEO, before he joined him at the start-up of the new organisation. He now plays a crucial motivational role. He is greatly respected and "the team are willing to follow the COO although he is a white person". Their relationship made "the CEO's leadership much more powerful", because they are "two very different leaders". "The CEO has the vision. The COO sees to the detail and puts the CEO's ideas into practice". The CEO is "not afraid to confront", but because "the COO is pastoral", he helps "the CEO to know the staff". He is, therefore, able to help the CEO understand the best way to deal with difficult issues. This means that, by acting together, they are able to solve problems. This "gives the team a sense of security" (focus group).

Encouraged by the CSO, the COO also seeks to establish a culture of task competence, along with paying careful attention to details, especially when delegating a task and sustaining its completion. Both these features were greatly appreciated by the leadership team and gave them the confidence that the organisation would achieve its aims.

11.3 Action 3: Method and scope of change

It is suggested that two instruments of transformational change in the organisation are reframing and conviviality. The former (never mentioned as such) is interpreted from the results of the literature survey, the prison interview and other informal interviews, particularly with the current pastoral assistant, in 2019. The latter unmistakably emerged through every aspect of this research.

Reframing as a means of change. At a conference in 2018, the CEO of the organisation stated that:

[m]any people are in prison not because they are unintelligent, but because they have used their intelligence in the wrong way (Tucker & Tucker 2018).

This statement implies that past mistakes do not negate potential abilities, even in the case of those with dysfunctional societal pathologies. It indicates that the primary method of transformation in the organisation is reframing, because it takes into account the conceptual framework of those who are counselled, while seeking to replace their self-defeating thought processes by consciously inserting more positive ones (Watzlawick et al. 1974:104; Pam 2013) 15. It is a powerful tool that is claimed to be so effective that what previously appeared unchangeable is changed, often with permanent results (Capps 1990:14; Dames 2013:115; Louw 2014:2).

Reframing can arguably be validated, from a theological perspective, for use by a Christian organisation, since it is claimed that it may be found in both the Old and the New Testament. For instance, the book of Job may be interpreted as describing God's reframing of Job and the book of Jonah as the attempted reframing of Israel's lack of missionary desire (Capps 1990:4, 55, 184). Luke 4:18, 19 may be interpreted as Jesus' manifesto for the reframing of the Jewish nation (Capps 1990:55), which he enacted through his parables, teaching and healing miracles (Capps 1990:55-63).

Although it is a powerful tool, counsellors need to be aware of a major danger. Claiborn (1982:442, cited in Mattila 2001:31) and Capps (1990:53, 92, 125) stress that an essential feature of reframing is to present the one who is counselled with a viewpoint that differs from their own. This means that the counsellor has already made a decision concerning the frames of reference to be used, in order to facilitate beneficial ethical behaviour, which is obviously influenced by the counsellor's worldview, ethical code and religious beliefs. The danger is that those who are counselled may be manipulated into or forced to unwillingly accede to an ethical perspective other than their existing one. Yet, as Nietzsche stated, "perspectives are intrinsically evaluative. To posit values is to set perspectives and horizons" (Graumann 1990:117).

Reframing as practised by the CSO. I considered reframing to be an agent of change at two levels - the prison ministry and within the staff of the CSO.

Reframing in the prison ministry. Two men, who grew up in vulnerable communities and are well acquainted with gangsterism, lead the prison ministry.16 Their background enables them to relate to the young offenders and earn their trust. In a community, where many are functionally illiterate, such trust is usually only given to those who know its language, legends, roots, and rhythms (Willowbank 1978:n.p.). In the Cape Flats, the "language" is the township's patois (a combination of English, Afrikaans and Xhosa) and gang language. The "legends" are the stories the community and the gangsters tell about themselves. The "roots" are where they believe they came from. The "rhythm" refers to their music, songs and dances.

Their method of operation is to invite incarcerated offenders to attend a course in prison, which uses a co-operative learning concept, where they develop personal one-to-one relationships with them. The course emphasizes "the importance of ... developing relationships with (those of) diverse cultural, social and learning needs" (Gillies & Ashman 2003:i). Its objective is to change (reframe) the participants' sense of identity, history, work ethic, role in society, and worldview. It is made very clear to those who attend that they may withdraw from the course at any time without causing any offence.

When asked about the long-term effectiveness of this ministry, the team replied that, as far as they were able to judge, at least a dozen or so of those who had completed the course were now active church members seeking to change their communities. They only knew of one instance of recidivism.

* Reframing of staff. The focus group highlighted that the staff are trained and empowered through an intentional change and discipleship process, which I also interpret as reframing. It involves general vulnerability and picking up people when they fail morally or operationally. The focus group mentioned an example of how the CEO and COO spent much time listening in order to restore a staff member who had been responsible for a break-in at the staff offices and how the COO is always ready to assist with the achievement of tasks.

Discipleship training occurs through the intentional example of other staff, personal instruction and group meetings, which are regularly held to discuss problems, decisions, social and cultural diversity, world views, and social justice. The CEO described the aim as twofold. The first aim is that staff will become skilled enough to become part of the leadership team and then leaders in their own right (Tucker & Tucker 2018). This, latter aim, would need some on the leadership team to begin to be able to rethink their roles and anticipate reactions in the midst the social and cultural diversity in which they work, so that eventually they will be able to reframe themselves. Reframing, at this level, would be classed as a third order change process, which not only develops leaders but also evolves a generative learning organization (Bartunek & Moch 1987; Gauthier 2006:6, 17). The researcher did not investigate whether or not this latter result has yet happened.

Conviviality as a means of change. I interpreted that the focus group showed a deep bonding, laughter, and a sense of common purpose.

The term "conviviality" was coined by Illich (1973:11) and modified by Addy (2017:8) to mean "the art and practice of living together", particularly in a multicultural context. The research indicated that the CEO's relational approach might be described as a form of conviviality. Conviviality is based on a theological understanding of the church as being "the church with others", as opposed to being only "the church for others" (Addy 2017:19). This is Addy's way of emphasising that, in being "with the other", we encounter Christ (Matt. 25:40), and that reciprocally the church needs to be "with the other", in order to establish its own identity and faithful living (Addy 2017:10-11, 18-20). Whilst I am sympathetic to the reasoning behind this, I believe it is better to view conviviality as simply an extrapolation of "the church for others", because the "church with others" is fraught with the theological danger of the church losing its distinctiveness from the world.17

Conviviality takes a contributory exchange relationship to a new level. It involves leaders and staff relating to each other, not simply in the work context or as recipients of diaconial development, but also in the normal interactions of daily life. This creates the space for learning about each other, with dignity and respect and with a concern for social justice, by enabling leadership, staff and developmental recipients to view each other holistically in their cultural context (Addy 2018:12, 27).

I interpret the organisation's operational practices as a form of conviviality, because the team commented that the CEO "[k]nows that as a white person he needs to be sensitive". He is acutely aware that the organisation is a cross-cultural one. He thus creates spaces where all the leadership may share their conceptual cultural frameworks. There was great enthusiasm in the leadership team about these "intense conversations" (focus group), which cover issues such as the culture and their commitment to social justice. As a result, they reported that everyone learns to interface well with what the focus group called "African cultural expectations". The team also revealed that they have fun in being together and relating to each other outside the boundaries of the organisation. For instance, they drink coffee, eat, visit and laugh together. The CEO also takes time to make coffee dates with team members, in order to And out about them and their families.

The culture of conviviality energises transformation through reframing at all levels - organisational, individual, and societal. People live in place and space and are, therefore, extremely sensitive to the reactions, responses and attitudes of others within that space and place (Louw 2008:26). The outcome of this sensitivity is that each person's relational web of socially constructed systems, procedures, and discourses have a considerable influence on them. When they experience conviviality from a particular relational network, with which they associate, they are more likely to, consciously or unconsciously, imitate its participants at all levels of thinking and behaviour.



One of the benefits of a structures framed analysis based upon business leadership models, such as that proposed by Venter (2017:18), is that because it is able to highlight the leadership models being used, it is also able to alert the organization to some of their dangers.

As of 2021, my contact with the CSO seemed to indicate that it is still effective and growing in scope. Nevertheless, the research does indicate some future challenges. For instance, as its footprint increases in the communities it serves, how will its transcendental stance, of trinitarian evangelic Christianity, effect its relationship with other religious faiths in South Africa's pluralistic society? Will it offend those of other religions? Will such offense hinder its purpose of achieving community transformation or prevent it working with secular developmental organizations? Secondly, as its staff compliment grows will this allow for the contributory exchange relationship and conviviality to be maintained, when more and more of its staff will be unable to be in daily contact with its central office in Cape Town and the leadership team? At the same time will the CEO's strong transformational leadership also grow diffuse and less effective?



This research indicates that using a business leadership model, using the leadership stances framework shown in Table 1, was a helpful tool for the CSO and will be for many Christian developmental organisations. By conceptualising and categorising leadership practice, it may help them more clearly understand "what and why" they have been doing well and wrong - successfully and unsuccessfully - and anticipate future challenges and dangers. It may also help secular developmental organisations and businesses better understand the philosophy behind, and the challenges of implementing transformational and transcendental leadership stances in South Africa, and perhaps beyond.



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Date received: 24 June 2020
Date accepted: 12 November 2020
Date published: 30 June 2021



1 This is one of three transformational models used to validate cross-disciplinary dialogue between theology and other fields. It pictures the relationship of the disciplines as an interacting network of different fields, which either intersect or diverge. Cross-disciplinary dialogue explores either points of intersection or divergence (Osmer 2008:167-172).
2 Nel (2015:106) advocates that a healthy congregation should seek to satisfy the needs of every member by combining nine ministries, namely preaching, worship, care, community, teaching, service, witness, and leading.
3 In making this assertion I am, I believe justifiably, extending Snyder's (1977:53ff) and Wagner's (1981:186ff; 1999:96ff) studies of the characteristics and differences between parachurch organizations and congregations to Christian developmental organizations.
4 The leadership team inaugurated new projects to meet four areas of need to be addressed because of the epidemic - income generation, food scarcity, continuing to reach young people in the community and in prison, and grief counselling. They have already endeavoured to meet these needs by opening a new Café in Philippi (on the Cape Flats); implementing a job-readiness training course in Nyanga, in conjunction with "Work for a living"; a small-scale urban farming project; online outreaches to young people and those in prison, and an online grief-counselling series (The Message Trust 2021).
5 Gangs are by no means limited to the Cape Flats, as revealed in Dolley's (2019) exposé of the gang battles to gain control over Cape Town's nightclubs in its central business district.
6 Africa Diaconia and Development Conference on Diaconia, community and development: Exploring new theories for social justice and inclusion. Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology, South Africa, 3-5 July 2018.
7 I use the designation "staff" in two senses. In the first sense, it applies to all who work for the organisation - those on the leadership team and those, the more numerous, who implement their decisions. In the second sense, it applies only to those who are not on the leadership team.
8 COO is an acronym commonly used in business to designate the chief operating officer, usually a second in command responsible for implementing decisions.
9 Due to a sudden tragic death in his immediate nuclear family.
10 For a more complex definition of the difference between business and NGOs, see Swart (2006:135-147).
11 Senge (1990, 1994:14) describes generative learning as "learning that enhances our capacity to create".
12 My participatory research led me to surmise that this would most closely approximate to the "Lived Theology" of the CSO. This concept is expounded in Ward (2017:55-56). This is the notion that theology, as it is expressed and lived in ordinary communities such as the CSO, coexists with and in part depends on, but is also at times in tension or even in contradiction with more institutional or formal kinds of theology.
13 The song "Any dream will do" (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) does not apply when it comes to vision formulation through prophetic discernment.
14 For instance, in Matthew 10:5-15, Mark 6:7-11, Luke 9:1-5, and Luke 10:1-16, where Jesus envisions his disciples.
15 For more detail, see Watzlawick et al. (1974); Capps (1990); Mattila (2001); Dames (2010).
16 They are assisted, from time to time, by second-year social work students seconded to them from the University of the Western Cape.
17 For further information on "the church for others", see Dulles (1987:89-102), who regards even this model as having this danger.

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