The Kapatiran interviewed Fr. Herb Schneider, BCBP Spiritual Director, in 1991; the interview was published in the Dec ’91-Jan ’92 issue of the Kapatiran. With the upcoming turnover of BCBP leadership by the end of this year 2011, we reprint Fr Herb’s thoughts on leadership – which are still very valid today.
KAPATIRAN: One of the BCBP’s objectives is to identify, train and develop Christian leaders. How would you describe a good Christian leader?
FR HERB: The number one quality is that a person must put his life under the Lordship of Christ. I believe a good Christian leader needs to be a man under authority like the centurian in the gospel. When our Lord said He would come and cure his servant, the centurian said, “I am a man under obedience so I have somebody over me and I have people under me, and if I say to one, ‘Come’, he comes, and ‘Go’, he goes.” A leader needs to be under authority and this authority, first of all, is our Lord Jesus Christ.
The second quality I would look for is a man who would work as part of a team. Because in something like the Brotherhood that is a missionary organization, we don’t do our own thing, but we work again with leaders over us; we work together as a team with those around us. So if somebody is simply a solo worker, he wouldn’t really fit in into the Brotherhood service. We’re looking for somebody who can genuinely work with others in a team. And we need somebody who can take direction.
Thirdly, I would look for someone who knows the Brotherhood and has really made the Brotherhood life his or her own. Leading is mostly done by example. If a leader himself doesn’t live out his commitment card, how can he help others to live it?
I do believe that the last and maybe the most important quality is that the person must be a servant. So what we’re looking for is non-dominating leadership. We need someone who is genuinely concerned for others and would do his best to help others come to the Lord, come to the rich life, to live out the richness of the BCBP, to help them do well in their service, and really be able to show that in their whole attitude. Their concern is the development, the growth, the deepening of the other person. He does it with a certain humility by putting the other person first without being weak or wishy-washy, or a wimp or anything of that kind of thing.
KAPATIRAN: Do you feel the Brotherhood has been able to develop sufficient leaders who meet these criteria?
FR HERB: I believe so considering the different leadership levels in the Brotherhood. I would say that most of the action group leaders are men and women who really love the Lord, can work on a team, are very open to being directed in their service, and really sacrifice a lot of time for the people in their group. And I think the same thing goes for all the other leaders in service.
I think that one of the things that I would want to stress is that an organization such as the Brotherhood must constantly focus on leadership formation. One of the reasons is that there is a certain leadership turnover which in a way is a good thing. Some people are transferred by their company and they can’t serve any more, or family matters come up and they can’t serve. So I believe that we need always to raise up new leaders. Every leader needs to be on the look-out for someone who can take his place.
I think if the Brotherhood would increase more and look more toward becoming not only a missionary organization but a leadership training organization which could constantly raise up new leaders, it would allow it to expand more and faster. It would make it stronger because if someone could not serve, there would be several replacements immediately at hand.