Power Trip

It was a sad story. A minister was convicted of murdering his wife in order to carry on multiple affairs with women in his congregation. Most of the women had reached out to him for help with failing marriages. But their trust in him soon became obviously misplaced. 

A woman who had been one of the minister’s lovers and her husband sat before the television reporter with matching melancholy expressions. 

And the woman said something that stuck in my brain: 

“Power corrupts and church is a place [where] people can get power.”

The ideas sound so foreign next to each other. 

Corrupt control and church. 

Clout in a holy place. 

But it can happen..so easily.

Raise your hand and you become head over the 75th church anniversary committee. 

Attend a meeting and your name is typed in as the guest speaker at this year’s conference. 

Show your face and say “Hallelujah” enough times and you earn a permanent seat on the third row on the dais, in perfect view of the podium. 

Then titles become Velcroed to first names. 

Expectation and duties are heightened to a frightening level. 

True leadership becomes disfigured.

And then the main idea is forgotten.

Because how can anyone really have power or pull or sway in the Almighty’s house? 

When we’re all supposed to be servants?
Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” He said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away His life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”

-Mark 10:41-45 (The Message)

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