Dr. Francis Akin-John
Christian leaders are called to be servant leaders, willing to be last in order to lead (Matt 20:26). We are called to SERVE, not to be position and power conscious. We are called to be servants, not to dominate, oppress, subjugate and abuse those under us, who look up to us for service.
However, lots of church leaders wrestle with a desire to be powerful and influential. Take a look at your life, and be aware of these signs that you might be a “power hungry” leader:
- You get jealous when others have information you don’t have. Power hungry leaders want every advantage, including being “in the know” more than others are. You feel insecure with gifted associates. A king Saul and David situation.
- You hire only “yes” men who support your position. That’s one way to protect your power – hire only people who depend on you and look up to you. You hire dwarfs, not giants that can in-crease your life and ministry.
- You network only with people who can help you gain position and prestige. You know what you’re doing, too, when you make deliberate choices to hang out with the power brokers.
- You look for the weakness in people who disagree with you. You feel more powerful, more in charge and in control, when you can tear down – in a Christian way, of course – those who oppose you.
- You speak critically about leaders who hold the positions you want. It’s easy to judge those who are where you want to be. After all, you’re really more qualified for that role, anyway – right? You engage in pull-him-down-syn-drome.
- You remind people of your pe-digree and accomplishments, even in sermons.
- You are consumed with your wealth, worth and ways. You’re always thinking about the assum-ed greener grass in the ministry that is larger than yours.
- You use your title more than your name. In some circles, titles like “Rev, Dr., Bishop, and Apostle” carry weight. Power hungry people know what those circles are and they oppress others with such titles.
- Your public life is more important to you than your pri-vate life. That is, you “shine” in the public while spending little time with God in private.
- You place your ministry above your family. Daily, you spend more time trying to climb ladders than hanging out with your family. That’s seeking power at much too high a cost. When you lose the peace of your home, you’ll have pieces in ministry.
Power hungry leaders play church, ministry and denominat-ional politics that leads to in-justices and departure of God’s glory from such places, power hungry leaders do stupid and foolish things that bring their ministry down.
They drive away their future leaders by their insecurities and experience downward spiral of their once vibrant ministries..
10 Eclipses in the church
Some days back, we saw the solar eclipse in America, an event the media talked about for weeks. People traveled from around the world in order to see it. All of this publicity has made me think about “eclipses” in the church—- that is, those things that seem to block the Son in the church. Here are some that come to mind:
- Unrepentant sin. When we choose not to turn from our sin, we hinder God’s work and turn our attention from the saving grace of God’s Son.
- Personal agendas. It’s tough to honour the Son and defend our own turf at the same time. Carnal tendencies hinder the Son from being seen.
- Gospel-less preaching. You’d hope that it doesn’t happen, but it does. A message that never gets to the gospel neglects Jesus.
- Congregational division. The church that’s continually fighting among themselves cannot be pointing others to Jesus.
- False gospels. Preach the wrong gospel, and you probably eclipse Jesus all together.
- Kingdom building. Broad-casting our own achievements so we build our own kingdoms rather than God’s kingdom robs Christ of His glory.
- Bad teaching. Some teaching is so poorly done that it’s almost impossible to follow its train of thought – and seldom does it clearly point to Jesus.
- “Tradition idolatry.” I’m not at all opposed to tradition, but some churches allow an unhealthy traditionalism to get in the way of clearly proclaiming Jesus to a non-believing world.
- Unspoken pluralism. That is, many churches have members who believe there are multiple ways to God—in addition to a personal relationship with Jesus—though they seldom admit that belief publicly.
- Directionless small groups. A small group that has no intentional guidance and account-ability will likely wander in multiple directions, and seldom will it default into a deep focus on Jesus.
*International Church Growth Ministry holds two major conferences a year, one in second week of every February and the other in every first week in September.”