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Harnessing People Power

Running over people may produce short gains, but you'll pay the price down the road.
—Donald Seibert

Pastoring a congregation is sometimes like refereeing a set of Golden Gloves matches. Fighting begins with the preliminary scraps: music committee versus choir, nursery workers versus Sunday school superintendent, Christian education board versus youth pastor. And then the championship bout: elders versus trustees.

You may not see any knockouts; few wild haymakers ever land solidly. But the infighting can be brutal. Participants can be sore for weeks.

Once I was involved in a church that had a strong commitment to foreign missions—a high-profile missions conference and large missions budget. A few years after I joined, the pastor was succeeded by another man who shared the commitment to missions but also felt that our church's involvement in local ministries was not what it should be.

So he tried to motivate us in the direction of local ministries, but his effort was completely misunderstood ...

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