Panellists of the conference

Panel session on ‘Integrity Leadership: Towards Mutual Accountability and Transparency’ during the Asian Church and Ecumenical Leaders’ conference, from left to right: Bishop Steven Lawrence (Malaysia), His Grace Dr Youhanon Mar Demetrios (India), and Rev. Dr Henriette Hutabarat Lebang (Indonesia).


Presentations from senior Asian church and ecumenical leaders called upon 100 Asian church and ecumenical leaders to pursue models of integrity leadership that are marked by humility, accountability, transparency, and integrity. 

The conference is taking place at the headquarters of the Persekutuan Gereja-gereja di Indonesia, or the Communion of Churches in Indonesia.

Rev. Dr Henriette Hutabarat Lebang, Asia president of the World Council of Churches, illustrated the facets of Christian integrity leadership, at the heart of which are servanthood, sacrifice, and selflessness. 

We believe that our leadership should be inspired by God; not by power, privilege, or position,” said Lebang, who also served as general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia from 2010 to 2015.

A leader of integrity is trustworthy, reliable, and capable of making wise judgements. They earn trust through their competence and ethical behaviour…despite challenges of politics, moral scandals, and other issues that polarise the church. Such leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility,” she shared. 

Lebang further proposed the model of transcendental leadership. While transactional leadership is profit-oriented and transformational leadership is people-oriented, transcendental leadership is planet-oriented and fulfills the planetary call for the good governance of all creation. 

Bishop Steven Lawrence, from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia, presented a fresh reading of Mark 10:35–45, where, in the context of Jamesand Johns unhealthy request for leadership and power, Jesus reveals his expectations of leadership and subverts the dominant associations of leadership with power. 

God revealed Himself to us in opposites—His glory was in the cross and His power was in weakness. God measures success not by authority or prestige, but by humble servanthood and service. God does not approve of self-centredness, self-indulgence, and self-seeking behaviour in the leaders He appoints; greatness in Gods kingdom comes through servanthood, suffering, and self-denial,” said the Malaysian bishop.

The Christian Conference of Asia