About Power

Several years ago I worked as a site pastor in a multi-site church. My boss at the time was the executive pastor Mike Ross, who later founded Mother’s Global Village, with whom Platt Park now partners in Guatemala. When the organizational structure of our multi-site church changed, Mike went from being my supervisor to being a site pastor at one of the other campuses. I remember writing him a note expressing what an impact he was having on me. I told him how impressed I was with his ability to transition between roles in the church without letting his ego get in the way. Most people would have gotten a sideways, resentful attitude about the perceived demotion of that change, but Mike never missed a beat. He seemed to readily relinquish the appearance and position of power for something more authentic…

I just finished reading Andy Crouch’s book Playing God, and I have to say it may be my favorite read this year so far.  Crouch says all of us-not just the obviously “powerful”-have real power and the responsibility to use it well. Power is both an idol to be rejected and a gift to be redeemed. Usually, we think of power as a bad thing; we nod our heads in agreement when we hear someone say, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Certainly, power can be corrupt when idolatry and injustice are involved. However, Andy Crouch shows how redeemed power is a gift meant for human flourishing. He says that the nature and essence of power can only be discerned by its effect, like the wind. The true quality test of power is found in this question: Are the people around us truly flourishing? What sort of wake are you and I leaving in our relationships? Human flourishing never happens by accident; it always requires intentionality.

May you wield your God-given and redeemed power for the flourishing of those around you.

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