Yoanes Sinaga

Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies


Yoanes Sinaga is a PhD student majoring in Intercultural Studies from Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines. While studying as a doctorate student, he is also serving as a church advisor in the Indonesian Fellowship Manila and as administrative assistant in the Philippine Frontier Mission.



Tensions between Bataknese cultural traditions and the beliefs of Adventist church has often occurred among the members.  Many researches has discussed on various controversial Bataknese cultural practices, but less attention has been given to Bataknese worldview on leadership and its impact to the West Indonesia Union Mission at large. Bataknese leadership style and worldview is heavily influenced by Dalihan na Tolu and the three philosophy of Batak way of life (Hamoraon, Hagabeon, Hasangapon). This resulted in a competitive, centralized, and hierarchical style of leadership. In contrast with this, leadership theorist has developed the “shared leadership” system where responsibilities are distributed equally among the ranks. The question at hand is whether this theory is compatible with Bataknese culture.  The purpose of this research was threefold, first was to analyze shared leadership theory in the light of biblical understanding and principles of leadership. Second, was to examine the compatibility of shared leadership within Bataknese context and culture. Third, was to design an implementation program. In conducting this study, the researcher utilized documentary research as its methodology. Bible and books about shared leadership and Bataknese culture were utilized as literary sources. Based on these sources, the author concluded that biblical model of shared leadership is not compatible with Bataknese cultural model of leadership.


Keywords: practical theology, leadership, Bataknese culture, Bataknese worldview, shared leadership