Jump directly to the Content

The Play for Power

To see that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but … from our Lord's standpoint it does not matter if I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud.
Oswald Chambers
You may be able to compel people to maintain certain minimum standards by stressing duty, but the highest moral and spiritual achievements depend not upon a push but a pull. People must be charmed into righteousness.
Reinhold Niebuhr

Not all attacks by dragons are personal; sometimes the play is for power. People use political tactics to influence decisions such as choosing a new Sunday school curriculum, focusing on nurture rather than church growth, or spending money on missions rather than remodeling.

Well-intentioned dragons, of course, have good reasons for seeking power, usually because the church is heading a direction they think needs to be changed. When two groups differ over the goals and direction of the church, tensions naturally rise as they each try to gain the upper hand. If the issues ...

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.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Locals are increasingly running African mission hospitals. The next challenge: keeping foreign donors.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.