Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Power and Pastoral Ministry - continuing thoughts

Here's the first chapter of my Master's Thesis from oh-so-many years ago (following on from yesterday's posting of the Introduction)
.  I'm not claiming this is all spot on thinking, nor offering it as anything like a definitive work on this subject, but having just taken possession of a readable copy of these files I am surprised by how much is still relevant in my everyday pastoral ministry.  Particularly Chapter Three.  But we'll get to that.

So here's the taster and link for the next bit:

Chapter 1  
The roots of power in pastoral relationships

The Fear of  ‘Power’

In many Christian groups the idea of ‘power’ is considered to be dangerous, John Harris (1977: 55) writes that, as Christians, “…we have been afraid of power and have tried to hide its overt exercise from ourselves.” This has led to concealing power or pretending that in the church there are no holders of power, that we live in a situation of mutuality, free from the undue influence of power.  Harris continues “Against this background, many pastors have sought to wield influence while appearing as neutral and benevolent parties, as disinterested in power.” [more]

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