Original Research - Special Collection: Sustainable leadership in times of uncertainty

The cloth of Elijah: Reimagining sustainable leadership in the context of uncertainty

Thinandavha D. Mashau
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2733 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2733 | © 2023 Thinandavha D. Mashau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2022 | Published: 07 June 2023

About the author(s)

Thinandavha D. Mashau, Christian Spirituality, Church History, and Missiology, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Tshwane, South Africa


Difficult times in the history of humanity, such as global pandemics, global wars, ecological degradation, drought, poverty and unemployment, require not just leadership, but sustainable leadership. Inspired by the leadership model of Nelson Mandela, this article sought to tap into the resourcefulness of the missional reading of 2 Kings 2:1–18 and use the leadership model of prophet Elijah to unpack what it means to be a sustainable leader in the context of uncertainty. Relying upon literature analysis and a missional reading of 2 Kings 2:1–18, this article concluded that sustainable leadership, taking after the model of prophet Elijah, has five distinctive features, that is, human, missional, mentorship, management of transitions, and transformation.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article investigates the issue of sustainable leadership in the context of uncertainties such as global pandemics, global wars, ecological degradation, among others. It contributes to the disciplines of missiology and missional hermeneutics, biblical theology, and sustainability theories, in particular issues of Christian leadership.


cloth; prophet; Elijah; sustainable; leadership; uncertainty; 2 Kings 2:1–18.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


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