Have you noticed that with great responsibility, there tends to be great power?

In fact, when we have great responsibility, we find that we have a lot of things to deal with, and the short cut to getting it all done is to use our position to make sure others do as we need. It isn’t an evil thought…at least not for most – but it is a shortcut that makes sense at the moment – after all, we know we are supposed to build a team, right?

However, power, though inherent, can be turned two directions. It can be used to fuel our vision (we will call this power), or it can be turned outward to fuel what God is doing in the life of others (we will call this Power).

Here is a basic problem – when you fuel something with power, it relies on that power to keep going. So, if you have built a great team around the concept of fueling your vision, your team will rely on your leadership to function, and when you aren’t there, a power vacuum occurs that must be filled.

What if, instead, you built your team around the concept that God brought all of you to this point in time to see how your skills, gifts and abilities could work together to make a difference in the lives of others? When you leave, the team continues to function around the same concept – that God has a purpose, and they are supposed to be about that purpose.

This would be releasing Power, not just to bring things toward yourself, but to flow outwards. In this type of funnel, when things flow inward, they get narrower – when they flow outward, they expand. Each person added to the paradigm isn’t trying to find their place in one person’s vision, they are looking to see how their skills, gifts and abilities can supplement those that they connect with.

They also look to see how their connections with those in the Body can help people they know. Their focus becomes outward, looking to make a difference, and their sense of purpose is based on how they add value to the lives of others, rather than how they fit into the paradigm of one person’s vision.

So let’s say you have a very mature church that has been in operations for 40+ years. If it is in the United States, it was built on the paradigm of power. Every new pastor is expected to develop a vision, and align the people to become part of it. People who don’t know Jesus are on the outside of the paradigm, growing nearer to the “center” of power as they become more entwined with the vision. Is this so bad if the pastor’s vision is to serve the community?

The real problem is when we love others, we don’t just look for how they can become more like us, we look for how we can love them. In the church, we have this a bit mixed up. We have a real tendency to give to others, with the assumption that they will become part of our group. We don’t give out of love, we give out of marketing – we give out of power and expect results. What would happen if our giving was unadulterated, and our only reason was so that other people would hear God’s love in their love language? What would happen if our focus was on them instead of getting them to connect with us?

Here is where I’d like your input…what do you think? Is Power different than power? What would an externally focused leadership team look like? What would they utilize their resources for?