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 ...

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