Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer teaches the “Path to Power” to his students. In his book Power: Why Some People Have It — and Others Don’t, he claims that power in business is the major factor to success, not performance. The Standford Business Magazine Online reports on his work:

Another obstacle is relying on the ubiquitous leadership literature written by people who tout their own careers as models but “gloss over the power plays they actually used to get to the top.” These leaders’ ability to promote themselves as noble and good is the reason they reached high levels in the first place, Pfeffer says. Their advice could be accurate, “but more likely it is just self-serving.”

The world’s model for business, as much as it hides the ambition and struggles for personal power and position, can never serve for the church. The attempt in the church to promote “servant leadership” is wrong-headed, a contradiction in terms, and a borrowing of language that the Lord forbids.

“You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household.”
Eph 2.19 NET

Every Christian is nothing more than a member in God’s household. God is Father, Owner, and Authority. There is no place for ambition, for power struggles, for lording it over the faith of others.

There are but two levels of hierarchy in the church: that of the Lord, the Leader who detains all power and authority, and that of his servants.

Which level do you aspire to occupy?

4 thoughts on “Two levels of church hierarchy

  1. That is powerful, and the last question is searching indeed. Reminds me of Jesus’ statement, “That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God” (Lk. 16:15). I’ve a topical lesson on that phrase. This concept should be added. Thank you for your perspective and courage.

  2. I’m afraid I may be missing your point. I read that one who desires or aspires to office of bishop or overseer, desires a good work. Further his qualifications must include proof of good household management, so he hopefully can do the same for the church he attends. Your expressions leave me thinking this is actually NOT desirable because we are all the same as Christians, therefore, unless I hope to take Christ’s job, I and any others need not apply. What would you have me think or believe?

    • Hello, Stephen, thanks for the question. The issue is this: whatever gift God has given us and whatever the functions we perform in God’s church, do not remove us from being fellow servants. The whole concept of leadership —— a term which does not occur in the Bible, by the way —— has been imported whole-hog from the business world. While it seems to promise some insights, underneath, as the quote in the devotional show, still lurks the struggle for power and position. Such a struggle is inimical to the kingdom of God.

What do you think?

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