Embodied leadership: Paradigm shifts in the leadership of a local URCSA congregation

  • I. A. Nell
Keywords: Leadership, Ecclesiology, Congregation, Transformation, Paradigm shift, Socio-cultural changes, Leierskap, Ekklesiologie, Gemeente, Transformasie, Partadigmaskuif, Sosiokulturele veranderinge


In South Africa the religious sector, through its leadership, has in the past and canstill make a significant contribution to the transformation agenda, particularlyby fostering leadership relationships across ethnic, cultural and socio-economicdivides (bridging and linking social capital). Ethnographic empirical research intothe leadership narratives of the Vlottenburg Uniting Reformed Church in SouthernAfrica, Stellenbosch, showed how the leadership in this congregation movedthrough different leadership paradigms in a relatively short time. An investigationusing different theoretical frames was undertaken in an attempt to understandthe impact that socio-cultural changes had on the functioning of the leadershipin the congregation. The research also investigated the transformative influencethe leadership had on the embodied ecclesiology of this congregation in a lowincomesocio-economic environment. Some suggestions are made on how the localleadership can cross cultural and socio-economic divides and contribute to SouthAfrica’s transformation agenda.