Original Research

Battling with the baton: (Dis)connecting today and tomorrow’s leaders in African Pentecostalism

Kimion Tagwirei
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 1 | a9179 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.9179 | © 2023 Kimion Tagwirei | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 June 2023 | Published: 30 November 2023

About the author(s)

Kimion Tagwirei, The Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Leadership praxis, development and succession can become a bloody battlefield in Africa, mainly because of economic, cultural, theological and political factors. Just like some secular leaders who fail to serve their mandate paradoxically fight for further conquest and retention of power at all costs, certain spiritual leaders miscarry Christian leadership, struggle to deliver their missionary service and tragically battle to stay in power, instead of passing the baton. Church leadership ought to be successional, transformational and intergenerational enough to disciple and develop leaders to sustain and promote other-centred missio Dei and missio Ecclesiae. Yet, the majority of Pentecostal church founders and leaders are neo-patrimonial, authoritarian and serving themselves at the expense of God’s mission. That way, they deface the missionary identity of the Church. Engaging with available literature and observing multifarious leadership trends in Africa, this article unravels problematic Christian leadership development and succession in view of Jesus Christ’s servant leadership model. It disconnects self-centred incumbents and connects the few who are Christ-like with tomorrow’s leaders.

Contribution: This article advances Christian leadership development and succession in view of Jesus Christ’s intergenerational servant leadership model.


Christian leadership; Pentecostalism; development; succession; missio Dei; missio Ecclesiae

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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