Jump directly to the Content

Leadership Forum: Power, Preaching & Priorities

Authority. Power. They're seldom the same. In fact, like an iceberg, 7/8 of the danger and power lies submerged under the organizational chart.

"I'm sorry I can't take you into our new church parlor," said a pastor to a longtime college classmate, "but there's only one key. The women raised the money for this room and bought the furnishings-and the president of our church women's organization has the only key. If you stand over here, however, you can see part of the inside of the room through this window. They did a tremendous job of decorating and furnishing it, and it's the most attractive room in the whole building."

This image of the pastor standing on tiptoes to see the church parlor could be someone's idea for a cartoon, except that it is a true story told in Lyie Schaller's book, The Pastor and the People in the chapter, '"Who's in Charge Here?" An apt question. Who does run the church? Who should have the authority and power? LEADERSHIP research confirms that "fuzzy" conceptions of authority and power are the seedbed for major conflicts within the church.

Editor Paul Robbins and Publisher Harold Myra met at Chicago's O'Hare ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Why We Love Stories
Why We Love Stories
An Interview with Mike Cosper
From the Magazine
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
Money promises autonomous abundance. But we need someplace where we cannot hide.
Editor's Pick
How the Early Church Dealt with Racial and Cultural Division
How the Early Church Dealt with Racial and Cultural Division
They saw that their ability to truly be the church was at stake.
close