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Unholy Trinity Part 3 Powerthe Third Person of the Unholy Trinity By Dave Miles You want to see who

has the power? Ill show you who has the power! Well quit signing the checks and youll see who has the power! It did not escape me that individual in question was making it clear that he, and not me, or anyone else for that matter, actually had the ability to steer the church in the direction he wanted. Heres the thing to keep in mind: When a church finds itself in transition, its not unusual for a leadership vacuum to be created. That vacuum opens the door for leadership positions to be filled by those who are not spiritually qualified. In the end, they often abuse or misuse the power that is resident in the position they hold. They lack the spiritual maturity to use their power in a godly fashion. Whats the effective interim pastor to do? First, remember there are at least four types of power used in a local church: (1) Positional power based on an office or position, (2) Relational power based on a persons friendships or ability to move people relationally (3) Experiential power based on life experiences relevant to the situation at hand and (4) Spiritual authority that flows from character, gifting, and deep experiences with God. While over the course of his ministry the wise interim pastor will use all four types of power, the primary focus should be on the use of spiritual authority. Second, the scripture clearly defines what spiritual authority looks like. For example, Paul tells us that God granted him spiritual authority to build people up, not tear them down (2 Cor 13:10). So the goal of any use of power is to edify and serve. It is for others benefit and joy (2 Cor 1:24; 10:8). Its not to be burdensome, difficult, manipulative, or overbearing. Furthermore, the godly use of power will be evidenced through character and personal sacrifice (2 Cor 10:8; 11:16-33). Its not necessarily flashy or charismatic. True spiritual authority works through the ordinary as well as extraordinary skills (2 Cor 12:5-12). Third, take pains to practice the following: 1. Purge the membership roles of those who have not attended for at least a year. This undermines the negative use of power by those who dont have the churchs best interest in mind when it comes to voting. 2. Move towards your critics. Most people resist their critics! That practice is unwise. 3. Depersonalize any dissent. Taking a none-reactive and calm approach to powerbrokers condescending dissent tends to defuse their attacks. 4. Never fight power with power. Fight the abuse or misuse of power with truth. 5. Dont be so consumed with negative power that you ignore the positive things God is doing. The squeaky wheel need not always get the grease. 6. Marginalize negative power people by surrounding them, and yourself, with people who use their authority in a positive fashion. And remember, as an old friend once reminded me, In a board meeting, everyone has only one vote! While there is much to say about power and authority, one final thought will suffice. God is a powerful God and grants his servants the grace to use power and authority to accomplish his purposes. True spiritual authority is not self-promoting but focuses on the purposes of God (2 Cor 4:5; 11:5). We need not fear power, but we must use it for Gods glory. Failure to do so due to fear, laziness, or indifference makes us no better than those who abuse it! Think about it.