Something I am working on in my doctoral program is the issue of "power". I have been reflecting on power as it relates to leadership in the faith comunity. Henry Nouwen is again helpful here:
“It is not enough for the priests and ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership. The central question is, are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty, to touch God's incarnate Word, and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?”
I have been keeping my eyes open to "notice" people who hold power in the Christian community. I am making note on the way power is used whether very intentionally as well as blindly. You have heard it said (I don't remember by whom) "when you don't have power you talk about it a lot" (if you know who said this let me know).
But look at different groups who do not hold power in our society and then begin to listen to what they say without first jumping to all kinds of judgments and assumptions...maybe we won't like what we hear but maybe a second listen, trying to "hear" empathetically what is being said.
I am rambling a bit here.
As I have been noticing how people use their power I am struck, struck by the many people who hold power and are not aware of it. When you are not aware of your power then I believe it is difficult to "see" those that don't hold the power position in any given situation.
One thing I do know, that in Christian leadership, there is a point where stopping to reflect on one's own power and how it is used is very, very important in these days where voices from the margins are becoming louder and louder.
The leaders that I watch move aside to share power with those that need to have room made for them is the ideal of servant-leadership that I see Jesus modeling over and over again in the gospels.