How Chieftaincy Can Promote Christianity – Biblical Perspective


Among the various traditional systems that the early Church faced in the West African sub-region were traditional rulers (kings) who were seen as obstacles to the spread of the Gospel. The early Christian missionaries had a daunting task to integrate these royal institutions into the societies. The French Roman Catholic theology and the mission realized that these traditional authorities were like the “pillars of the society” without whom the mission would be a difficult one. So, one of these early missionaries, Bishop Joseph Lamotte, thus created a theology of the chieftaincy in which spirituality was merely a matter of simply discovering Jesus Christ inside the traditional kings or chiefs. We may, therefore, say that established Churches in West Africa find themselves in the position to integrate or promote the element of the “savior” contained in their traditional authorities. So, the early return of Saint Joseph to Egypt is a biblical example used by Lamotte in the support of his theological argument.

Chieftaincy, deeply rooted in many cultures, plays a significant role in shaping societal norms and values. From a biblical perspective, chieftaincy can be a powerful vehicle for promoting Christianity and advancing the principles of the kingdom of God within communities. This article explores the potential of chieftaincy in fostering spiritual growth, social development, and cultural preservation through the lens of biblical teachings.

Role of Chieftaincy in Promoting Christianity

  • Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Chieftaincy serves as a custodian of cultural traditions and values, providing a platform for integrating Christian principles into existing cultural practices. By incorporating biblical teachings into traditional ceremonies and rituals, chieftains can reinforce Christian values such as love, compassion, and communal harmony, fostering a sense of unity and identity rooted in faith.

  • Spiritual Leadership

Historically, chieftains have held positions of spiritual authority within their communities, guiding religious practices and beliefs. When chieftains embrace Christianity, they become influential spiritual leaders, leading their people in worship, prayer, and moral instruction. Through their example and teachings, chieftains can inspire devotion to God and promote spiritual growth among their followers.

  • Community Development Initiatives

Chieftaincy often intersects with community development initiatives, providing a platform for addressing social challenges and promoting holistic well-being. Chieftains, as respected community leaders, can spearhead projects that alleviate poverty, improve access to education and healthcare, and empower marginalized groups. By integrating Christian values of compassion, justice, and stewardship into development efforts. They can contribute to the flourishing of their communities.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Resistance to Change

Despite its potential for positive transformation, integrating Christianity into chieftaincy may encounter resistance from traditionalists and vested interests. Chieftains who embrace Christianity may face opposition from those reluctant to abandon ancestral practices or hierarchical structures. Overcoming this resistance requires patience, dialogue, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides while upholding biblical principles.

  • Collaboration with Church Leaders

Effective promotion of Christianity through chieftaincy necessitates collaboration between chieftains and church leaders. By working together, they can leverage their respective spheres of influence to advance shared goals of spiritual renewal and social upliftment. Establishing partnerships based on mutual respect and shared values strengthens the impact of their efforts and fosters unity within the body of Christ.

  • Engaging the Youth

Engaging young people is essential for sustaining the influence of chieftaincy in promoting Christianity. Chieftains can mentor and disciple youth, equipping them with biblical knowledge, leadership skills, and a passion for serving their communities. By investing in the next generation of Christian leaders, chieftains ensure the continuity of their legacy and empower youth to become agents of positive change.

  • Leveraging Traditional Practices

Chieftains can leverage traditional practices and ceremonies as opportunities for imparting Christian values and teachings. By infusing traditional rites with biblical symbolism and narratives, chieftains create avenues for spiritual instruction and reflection. This approach preserves cultural heritage while imbuing it with the transformative power of the gospel, enriching the spiritual lives of participants.

Example of Kings Who Transformed Their Kingdoms

Throughout history, there have been notable examples of kings who governed their realms according to the values and principles of the kingdom of God. These kings exemplified righteous leadership, promoting justice, compassion, and spiritual renewal within their domains. Let us explore some of these exemplary rulers:

  1. King David (Israel)

David, often regarded as a man after God’s own heart, ruled Israel with a focus on justice, righteousness, and faithfulness to God. Despite his flaws, David prioritized worship, established Jerusalem as the spiritual center, and sought to unite the nation under the rule of God. His Psalms reflect deep devotion and reliance on God’s guidance, setting a spiritual tone for his reign.

  • King Alfred the Great (England)

Alfred, a Christian king of Wessex in the 9th century, implemented laws and reforms based on biblical principles. He promoted education, justice, and compassion for the poor, laying the foundation for a just and prosperous society. Alfred’s commitment to Christianity helped shape England’s cultural identity and inspired future leaders to govern with wisdom and integrity.

  • King Haakon VII (Norway)

Haakon VII, the first king of Norway after its independence in the early 20th century, exemplified Christian values of humility, service, and reconciliation. Amidst political turmoil, Haakon maintained neutrality during World War II and stood as a symbol of national unity and resistance against Nazi occupation. His leadership fostered peace and stability, earning him respect and admiration from his people.

  • King Josiah (Judah)

Josiah, a young king of Judah in the 7th century BCE, embarked on a spiritual revival based on the principles of the Mosaic Law. He initiated religious reforms, purged idolatry, and restored the Temple of Jerusalem, emphasizing the centrality of God’s covenant with Israel. Josiah’s dedication to God’s word brought about a renewal of faith and righteousness among the people, leading to a period of spiritual revival and national prosperity.

  • King Baudouin I (Belgium)

Baudouin I, king of the Belgians from 1951 to 1993, governed with a deep commitment to Christian values and social justice. He advocated for human rights, compassion for the marginalized, and ethical governance, earning him widespread admiration both nationally and internationally. Baudouin’s principled leadership reflected his faith and contributed to Belgium’s reputation as a progressive and inclusive society.

These kings demonstrated how aligning governance with the values and principles of the kingdom of God can lead to transformative leadership, fostering spiritual renewal, social justice, and national prosperity.


Chieftaincy, when aligned with biblical principles, has the potential to serve as a catalyst for promoting Christianity and advancing the kingdom of God within communities. By embracing spiritual leadership, fostering community development, and engaging with contemporary challenges, chieftains can contribute to the spiritual and social transformation of their societies. As agents of God’s grace and ambassadors of Christ, chieftains play a vital role in bringing about God’s kingdom on earth.

By Overseer Solomon Boadi (Otsenkorang District)

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