Power and Authority
Power always has coercion behind the power. A policewoman can pull us over because she has a gun. (In America) Police can coerce us to obey, even when we don’t want to obey.
Authority always has love and respect behind it. My mom has authority over my life because of all the little things she has done for me over the years. She has earned to right to speak into my life.
The church should never use power games to force its people to do anything. It loses even when it thinks it wins. The church needs to speak with authority earned by loving and caring for the sheep.
Tony Campolo shares a story about Mother Theresa using her authority. She had brought together half way houses to allow the outcasts to have a place to lay their heads. But 500 citizens had come to a City Council meeting to complain about these half way houses. They were scared and acted out of fear. The City Council voted unanimously to not allow the half way houses the zoning privileges. At that moment Mother Theresa comes into the meeting, and learns what has happened. She goes to the front and gets down on her knees and begs the city council to make room for these outcasts. “In the name of Jesus, give them a place to live in your city.” The City Council reversed its decision. “What you do unto the least of these my brothers, you have done to me.” Jesus
Mother Theresa had authority not because she had power but because she had authority based on her humility and character.
How does this apply to how we parent?