Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good Power

Thread 1: There's a TV show I like called The Unit on CBS (can't believe the show is still going!) about the lives and missions of a secret, elite military team. During the latest episode ("Side Angle Side"), one of the team's wives helps "save" a gal from her suicide attempt. In talking with her husband she says, "When you're out on a mission ... I feel so helpless. But with this, I really felt (pause) powerful. I know, it's wrong to want power..."

Thread 2: I read a bit of business literature/theory, especially Jim Collins and Hamel & Prahalad. One thing they all key in on is what Collins calls a "Level 5 Leader" - the leader who leads on behalf of the organization, not him/herself. Example: CEO of CostCo makes ~$350,000 (as of 2006), "I figured that if I was making something like 12 times more than the typical person working on the floor, that that was a fair salary," he said. (ABC News interview) I'm sure he has nice bonuses and other benefits, but $350k?

Thread 3: I fear my own pride and strength of relationships. I fear what I might do with such . . . power. In an old Tuesday Night conversation (which we used to host in ~2004) it came out that Relationship can be measured in Power (persuasion). I REALLY didn't like that. But it seemed accurate.

Thread 4: I always - always - think there is a better or even perfect expression for everything. Call it perfectionism. Call it control. Call it "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Call it bringing the future into the now. Call it the Reign of Christ. I long for the ultimate expression of any/everything. Whatever is perfect for a given time/circumstance, that's what I want to think about, to pursue.

After weaving these threads (and I'm sure others), I have concluded that Power does not corrupt. Self-gaining use of power is an expression of corruption-already-existent. Two leaders I work with (a.k.a. my kids) often hear, "Leading is always for those being led - you never use leadership or power for yourself."

Yet I find that most Christians I talk to, read, or work with see Power as something toxic.

Like the wife in that episode of The Unit. Power is bad, only God can handle power. And is this not one of the messages just under the surface in The Lord of the Rings trilogy - those who want power are enslaved by it (power == ring). In the books, this is made even more clear by the character of Tom Bombadil.

It seams we humans either run away from power for fear of wanting it, abuse it, or try to develop a series of controls for (against?) those who have it (Elder boards, denominations, policies, etc.). But we never seem to develop power "skills."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More useless wastes of time, but fun

Surprisingly strategic ball game - use your red marbles to knock-off computer's yellow marbles before you loose all yours.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Will be Done

Had my head stuck in research lately - actually research of research (?). I'm convinced we can use research to find out what people are actually thinking, feeling. But this runs smack up against most everything church-health related (ex Natural Church Development (cf. graph in upper right), Vision Renewal, CRM, etc.).

they ALL have their pre-set list of what churches should be
[and none of them include the poor, for example]

This is really driving me nuts. How is it that with all the resources, insight, wisdom, and history that the Church has, we still cannot figure out how to stop swinging like a pendulum from one way/method/idea to the other?!? Why can't we see that these are short-term, reactive (at best!) solutions that will not get us further but simply different?!? And why is "different" such an important value? Why isn't "better" or "preparative"? Why do we have to be so today-driven? (or at best, today plus a little bit of the past)

Seriously, am I nuts? Does it disturb only me that the majority of people coming to Jesus (worldwide) are no longer Evangelical, non-charismatic (which, as I understand, has been what most Western Christians are/become)? Not that I'm bothered by their being non-Evangelical and somewhat charismatic (I think I might prefer that!), what's disturbing is how much of it all is reactionary. I'm sure you, reader, can think of a few other pendulums your country/culture are swinging on.

Seriously, am I nuts? Am I so fixed on an aberration of the future that I am I have lost touch with reality? Seriously?