Power Struggles

Here’s a newsflash for you: churches have power struggles. (I’ll bet you were surprised.) Often novice ministers are unprepared for this fact of church life. This is why a mentor is so important because it is usually at the first board meeting our husband’s discover that sheep bite, and that supremacy in a church’s power structure is very important to some members.
Church members sometimes take on the characteristics of children. This makes sense when you realize we are their spiritual parents. One of their childish practices is to pit one pastoral partner against the other. It can be done in several ways, but one is by seeking the power of private knowledge: “Do not tell anyone about this, not even your wife (husband).”
We have found it levels the playing field in church politics by rarely agreeing to keep confidentialities from each other. When Michael is cautioned, “Let’s just keep this between ourselves,” he generally inquires why. We are one before God and therefore feel that free-flowing information is important to our ministry. It doesn’t mean that we do share it, just that the confider needs to know that we might share it with our spouse. The advantages are:
1. It keeps someone from gaining emotional superiority. Knowledge is power, and manipulators exult in the feeling that comes from being privy to information even the spouse doesn’t know.
2. It keeps both our eyes open to what’s going on in the church.
3. Two of us praying over a situation are better than one alone. This does not mean that I know everything. Michael is very wise in knowing what information I can emotionally handle and what needs to be kept to himself. It is not that I have to or do know everything, it is that when a situation arises in which little antennas go up and common sense demands: why shouldn’t my spouse know this? that we civilly inquire, why not? Just something to think about.

9 Replies to “Power Struggles”

  1. hi, wow this is the first time i hear of anyone in the ministry agreeing that there are power struggles, and as the congragation we use to our own advantage, keep up the good work

  2. Power struggle are the most difficult issues we have in our ministry where my husband serves. I see him burning out from all the power struggles.
    Thanks for your article. It is about time someone named this issue. Yet another demon to keep us from doing God’s work.

  3. You are definitely right, there is always someone that tries to take the position that is not there’s to take. And some are very manipulating, but you reap what you sow. I always respected our pastor’s wife, never tried to cause her any heartaches, don’t understand why someone is always trying to lower me.

  4. Food for thought. I never through about the advantages of such turmoil. Your honesty is refreshing. It is what it is. Thanks for being bold enough to give it to us “straight”.

    You’ve got a new subscriber in me. 🙂

    Please check out my site – GodsyGirl.Com.

  5. Great blog!
    When we went into ministry we decided that because we are married and are “joined as one” that it was important to share with one another the “goings-on” especially with church stuff. I can’t tell you how many times someone at church has told me that my husband agreed to such and such and they were lying. I would handle it by saying let’s check. Another thing is people would ask me questions about other people or other ministry leaders. I’d always say something like: that I am not sure just go and ask them. Being in ministry is a life of a diplomacy!

  6. I don’t really deal with power struggles as much as “clicks” or are they power struggles? I was very upset and thought it was only my idea and then I got to realize no it’s not me this is really happening that at one prayer meeting it was so obvious and I was so upset when I noticed all those same folks are not allowing anyone to join thier little group that I was headed for the back door, but stopped when I saw 1 little older lady sitting all by herself looking over her prayer list and went and joined her, but I see this happening and don’t know what to do> The thing I fear the most is I’ll blow my top because it is really nauseating to me.We are in a 3 ministering team and me and my husband are associate pastors Theres no way I can talk to them as they’re part of the “click” and 3 is a crowd. I feel I need to work on my attitude and deal with it or has anyone else had an experience in dealing with “clicks” and what did you do wondering?

  7. This is so refreshing to read, and I hope that the posting and the comments will become even more active. This is a site that is very much needed. As PW’s there are really no mentors to speak to you in regards of what to expect. It is as if once you become a PW, you forget about those who are coming up behind you who is in that same role.
    The Ministry that my husband Pastors has people who are indeed anointed, but you hit the nail on the head; there is a power struggle. When you have this “spirit’ in work in a ministry, there will be confusion and chaos( I hope that is spelled correctly). This spirit has a strong need for control, and will get a attitude when their way is not had.
    We have people in the ministry that we need prior to ministry opening, and it seem that this is an issue more so then a asset. We are still believing God for who He has deemed to be OUR Pastor,so every instruction that we get is from the Holy Spirit( and NO ONE can instruct better!!) However when issues arise, you really do not have anyone to talk too, for the possibility of it being taking out of content. I know about the clicks and all I can say is “ick” there is not room for them in Ministry, these will congregate together to “discuss” the Pastor and the PW and ofcourse, the children; instead of congregating to pray for them. People often say if you want to really know someone, live with them; I beg to differ. If you want to really know someone become their Pastor !!!

    How are you and your family.
    we hope you will be fine there spending very pleaset life,
    i am working for the child labour and bonded labour.be cause i am also the victim of the brick killen owners,i spent my life as a slave for many years after that i would succeded to easape and got F.A certificate.it was my heartly desire to open schools for these childrens. i made a N.G.O.WHICH IS WORKING FOR THE CHILD LABOUR AND BONDED LABOUR.these people are slave as they were in the past.if you want to support them.then you must think about the nation.we are running 5 school 15 teachers are working on this project.
    we hope you will think about the nation and these children.if you want to see our work please come and see it in pakistan.we after visit the brick killens and give the teaching of BIBLE and offer for them.please think about them for their freedom.we hope will not disppointed us.
    to eradicate the child labour.to eradicate the bonded labour.to eradicate the slavery.to promote the literacy rate of pakistan.to make the students good citizen of this country .we are struggling to eradicate the slavery through education.
    with best regards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *