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Politics As Usual
By : Graham Johnston (Subiaco WA)
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Over the years, you hear stories, unbelievable stories of pastors and the congregations falling out. One young pastor got into a shouting match with one of the elders during the Sunday morning message. The pastor abruptly marches down the aisle right out the front door of the chapel in the middle of his message and never returns to say good-bye. It’s all over in one emotional meltdown. When we hear stories like this, we say to ourselves, “It’s politics as usual.” These battles for turf, for control, for authority, are cited as one of the most undesirable elements of pastoral ministry. Many young men and women simply give a sense of pastoral calling a miss because they can’t bear these kinds of altercations. So what can we say about church politics?

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Comments / Feedback
Harold Hayward
This is a sound comment. Politics is simply the “art of influencing” and everyone, including contributors to this forum, engages in it to some extent. Providing it is done respectfully, the open expression of views is healthy in any association. Politics is really only bad when people pursue agendas covertly and deceitfully. The worst form of deceit is to claim divine authority for personal agendas or one's views about what should happen in the church. Contrary to the popular idea, leadership is not defined by position ( eg pastor or elder) but by followership. If you can’t persuade people to follow you, you are NOT a leader. In defining the qualities of elders (Titus 1) the bottom line for Paul seems to be that leaders must be effective in relationships. In my view, leadership is distributed widely within the Body of Christ

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