How Our Ministry Methods Warp Our Souls

Kyle Strobel and Jamin Goggin | January 24, 2017

“Whether you know it or not, you just are in a position of power.”

This was Eugene Peterson’s response to our inquiry concerning the unique challenge pastors face in relation to power. Our conversation with Eugene was part of a long journey to discover what it meant to embrace power in weakness. He was, of course, correct. Those of us in ministry are all in a position of power. As such, we’ve all embraced a certain form of power. The question is not if we’ve embraced power, but what kind of power we’ve embraced.

This is perhaps the most pressing question in the church today, because it defines everything we do in ministry.

Searching the Heart 

A quick glance reveals that power has gone awry in the evangelical church. We’d have to be either naïve or simply uninformed to be unaware of power being employed to control, dominate, and even, at times, abuse. Yet no matter how many high-profile pastors are forced to leave the ministry because of their abuse of power, we still tend to see each incident as a case of individual failure rather than the symptom of a broader systemic issue. The celebrity culture the church has adopted and…

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