I recently read an article's title that caused me to think, "What could that mean for leadership in realtime?" I was not disappointed as I took some moments to reflect on wolves, packs, what has been shown in cartoons about them, and on the 'what ifs' of all I know about wolves not being true. Can you say, "epiphany?"
The subheading summed up the article quite well, "The idea that wolf packs are led by a merciless dictator, or alpha wolf, comes from old studies of captive wolves. In the wild, wolf packs are simply families." [Scientific America - Feb 2023]
Wait. Wolves in captivity or in a setup environment are different than those in nature? Hierarchy emerges when the same old members are the same old members in a closed community. Not unheard of as this is how cults make things work--authority is ... well now I have an open-ended question: is it needed or is it a false natural? A false natural in that if the group had a choice hierarchy may not be necessary. Alpha males/females? Un-herd of. We need to un-pack this more.
But in nature, wolves are found to be simply a family. Life is lived, elders are respected, but so is the understanding (expectation?) that the younger will go on to start their own versions of family packs.
What could this mean for the church? Well, one thought is that hierarchy isn't natural. It is a false natural. It only takes place when it is forced or an 'old study' is submitted to or imposed on a group. If there is a natural hierarchy, isn't God the head? God does give spiritual gifts for the betterment of the body, and while the head is important, it doesn't float off the body but remains attached as the body is essential to its purpose. What is the purpose of imposed or false natural hierarchy?
So I have minimal conclusions, but several thoughts playing themselves out with hopes for a more true reflection of what God has created to find its order in Him. I do know I don't wish to be a part of a false natural or promote one.