An Example of a Religious Worldview

Every human person has a worldview, which is the framework according to how one views and thinks about the world. This leads to differing approaches to art, music, literature, politics, and business and economics, indeed to all spheres of life. A person can apply his worldview understanding as he learns to address world realities in a variety of ways, applying empiricism, reason, intuition, and faith (Curtis, 2000). Most basically, a person’s worldview should outline how one relates to God, to other people, and to the world (Kuyper, 1931).

Previous blogs claim that a leader, whether as a parent, in the community, or in the workplace, influences the worldview and values of those with whom he interrelates. A responsible leader thus should take care to offer morally sound lessons and consistently to set a positive, constructive example. He or she should also seek to understand the basic worldview thinking of his superiors, peers, and subordinates—to understand them better and to appreciate from where they are coming.

This is not always an easy challenge to meet. People throughout our world, and within today’s diverse organizations, are influenced by their religious and cultural traditions and experiences. They may maintain many differing worldview perspectives. Moreover, worldview thinking is dynamic; worldview paradigms shift and individuals can continue to modify their personal worldview perspectives throughout their lives. As a start, the leader might attempt to understand the basics of some common, contemporary worldview paradigms that might be influencing those with whom he relates.

This and following blogs will outline some of the basic underlying presuppositions of several worldview paradigms. The first is that of biblical Christianity, an example of a worldview grounded in what some would describe as a religiously-grounded perspective. Other religions can lead to differing worldview perspectives. Whereas all worldviews presume something about our relation to God, some take a non-religious or secular stance. Examples of so-called secular worldviews will follow in future blogs.

                                                       A Christian Worldview

Our relationship to God:

God is infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and holy. He created all things out of nothing and continues to guide all things by His sovereign providence. He created man (male and female) in His own image. God is both transcendent and immanent; He is the Ruler of the universe and totally distinct from created beings, yet He enters into immediate fellowship with human creatures as the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He has appointed people as His stewards over creation and requires worship and obedience to His moral law, which He established for the benefit of His creatures. God is both loving and just. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

All humans are sinners against God, violating His commandments and justly deserving eternal punishment. But God is merciful and graciously provides eternal salvation and fellowship to those to whom He gives faith in Jesus Christ and His vicarious atonement. Each one whom God calls and regenerates as a born again believer is continually sanctified by His word and the Holy Spirit dwelling within him, growing toward God’s standard of holiness. This sanctification applies to the whole person, although it is imperfect in this life as the lusts of the flesh and corruption of the mind continue to war against the indwelling Spirit.

Our relationship to other people:

Every human is a created being, always distinct from God the Creator, and limited in knowledge and power. People differ in character, talent, and skills, but all are equal before God in dignity and status (priesthood of all believers). Because God created humans in His own image, people should always treat every person with dignity and respect. Every human sins, even regenerate Christians who are no longer slaves to sin. God commands people to love others, without approving of their sins.

Our relationship to the world:

People are to honor the world because it is God’s creation. The Fall has corrupted all created things, but His creation is still good. By His common grace, God sustains His creation and constrains the full effects of the Fall, assigning and enabling humans to cultivate, rule, and advance civilization as His stewards.

References:

Curtis, E. M. (2000). Transformed Thinking: Loving God All Your Mind. Franklin, TN: JKO.

Kuyper, A. (1931). Lectures on Calvinism. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans.

Readers are encouraged to comment and contribute worldviews grounded in other religious traditions.

This blog post is based on a discussion in Whetstone, J. T. (2013). Leadership Ethics & Spirituality. Bloomington, IN: WestBow.

Purchase:http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000641049/Leadership-Ethics–Spirituality.aspx   

Leaders and the Worldviews of Followers

A good leader needs to have a sound worldview, one that is open, comprehensive of all reality, and internally coherent (Walsh & Middleton, 1984). She can continue to refine her worldview throughout her lifetime, and probably will. Early experiences are especially formative. Parents and teachers can and should have major impact on molding their charges’ worldview.

Christian_Worldview

An organizational leader, especially one’s first supervisor, often has a significant influence on the worldview of his followers, whether the leader realizes this or not. He needs to set a positive, constructive example and to offer morally sound lessons. For example, followers quickly imitate the stance the leader takes toward other people. When the leader shows respect for all, others tend to do likewise; on the other hand, when he speaks derogatorily to or about other ethnic groups, his followers might absorb a negative bias about its members’ beliefs, values, and needs.

Moreover, a good leader learns to recognize the worldviews of his followers.  Even if she does not agree with every assumption they hold, she must still respect the dignity and worth of others. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to lead well.

For this, a leader needs a basic understanding of the major aspects of different worldviews that most commonly occur among his employees and others to whom he relates within the organizational context. Of course, there are many differing worldviews. Many are grounded in a religion, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism. Secular worldviews prevalent in today’s world include modernism and postmodernism. Often people have de facto worldviews that incorporate some combination of religious and secular ways of thinking. Subsequent blog posts will outline a few prevalent worldviews to show where they are likely to conflict.

A leader has no right to impose a complete set of worldview assumptions upon others, but can still help her followers and others better understand and mold their own worldviews. There may not be a set formula or process for this, because this facet of leadership is more art than science. Nevertheless, the leader can promote character development in others through personal example, mentoring, and challenging assignments–and thereby influence their worldviews constructively. This seems to be a legitimate, ethical responsibility for any good leader.

This blog post is based on a discussion in Whetstone, J. T. (2013).Leadership Ethics & Spirituality. Bloomington, IN: WestBow.

Purchase:http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000641049/Leadership-Ethics–Spirituality.aspx