Original Research

The leadership challenges of Paul’s collection for the saints in Jerusalem: Part II: Overcoming the obstacles on the side of the recipients and of Paul

Christoph W. Stenschke
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 1 | a1693 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i1.1693 | © 2017 Christoph W. Stenschke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 August 2016 | Published: 10 October 2017

About the author(s)

Christoph W. Stenschke, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


Paul tried to convince the predominantly Gentile Christian churches to contribute to a collection for the impoverished Jewish Christians of Jerusalem. While Paul is best known as a theologian, missionary and pastor, his collection project also shows his skills as an early Christian leader. Part II of this article describes what obstacles Paul had to overcome on the side of the Jewish Christian recipients of the collection, how he did so and how he proceeded in preparing and organising the actual collection, the transport and presentation of the funds in Jerusalem. It also discusses what obstacles were involved for Paul personally in this project and how he dealt with them. In closing, the article relates the portrait of Paul the leader as it emerges in this enterprise to modern leadership theory. Paul’s leadership evinces elements of servant leadership, authentic leadership and adaptive leadership.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article indicates to what extent early Christianity was affected by and had to interact with the political situation of its day. It also shows the complexities of Paul‘s life and ministry and his relations to the church in Jerusalem. It also provides an example of how Paul can be related to current leadership theory and suggests that awareness of this discourse sheds fresh light on Paul.


Paul; early Christianity; history of early Christianity; Letter to the Romans; Pauline collection; saints in Jerusalem; Jerusalem; Judaism first century; leadership studies; servant leadership; authentic leadership; adaptive leadership


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Crossref Citations

1. Lifestyle and leadership according to Paul’s statement of account before the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:17–35
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doi: 10.4102/hts.v76i2.5901