Each of us have it, and handling it well is a daily challenge.
Here’s a few podcasts and a book to help you think through it:
§ Gravity Leadership has been running a series on power that is worth listening to. I’ve taken in two episodes: Chuck DeGroat on Why We Love Narcissistic Leaders, and another with Rich Villodas on Cruciform Power and the Contemplative Life.
Chuck has a work coming out in the next year entitled When Narcissism comes to Church. I’m looking forward to reading it. This episode had me stewing for a few days around the question of why we trust the uber-confident, and how my stability and security seeking self can at times be tempted to look for earthly confidence to trust in before I settle my anxious thoughts and look for the stability of Christ.
Rich Villodas was a great listen, and he described an exercise over a period of a few weeks where when he noticed himself having a reaction to something, he took the time to identify the story he was telling himself, why he was upset, and then think through the true story the Gospel tells him in response to the situation. Rich said after a few weeks he began to notice patterns and see a decrease in the negative power of his reactions. This was a good listen.
§ Pete Scazzero is expounding upon his book, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, via podcast. Recently he covered Dual Relationships and Power. This podcast hit home, as in the last decade I’ve had to navigate lots of crossover in relationships. The combined roles of friend, coworker, manager, and pastor can bring complications into relationships if you are not aware of them and willing to address it. Scazzero’s point is that we all have power to steward, and you need to do an inventory of it to know what you could potentially be wielding when you’re not meaning to – or when you are tempted to use it for ill. Kind of wish I had heard this podcast five years ago.
§ One of the most impactful books on the concept of power that I’ve read is The Way of the Dragon or The Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that has Abandoned It, by Kyle Strobel and Jamin Goggin. I think I highlighted, bracketed or underlined at least half of this book. There are interviews dripping with wisdom and cultural insight toward evangelicalism. Here’s a brief list of 20 truths from the book. Get the book, read the interviews. Notice the age, disciplines, and demeanor of the people they’re talking to. Look at the type of power that we need and juxtapose that with the type of power we want when our longing to be part of something special lands in having a uniquely gifted pastor, rather than living into the cruciform way of weakness.
Newsletters. They’re Back.
Newsletters went away, and now they’re back. You could say this series is my attempt at a newsletter, but without the inbox. I subscribe to a few, and have come to really enjoy their appearance in my inbox.
Here are four I look forward to:
§ John Starke (Lead Pastor, Apostles NYC). John has a thoughtful offering that has recently been engaging how to think about secular culture. It’s fun, varied, and helpful. He’s on issue #6, so you can still jump in and say you got in on the ground floor.
§ Thomas S. Kidd (Baylor Distinguished Professor of History). Kidd writes about habits, his new works, alongside professional and family life hacks. He’s a great writer, and these are fairly to the point. I’ve been subscribing for a while. He writes at TGC, and has numerous biographical works to consider. I have really enjoyed his written works.
§ Alan Jacobs (Baylor Distinguished Professor of Humanities). This is an eclectic and fun newsletter that can cover what Jacobs had for dinner, to his latest book, and then an obscure work of art that suddenly you realize you needed in your life. I read his work, How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds, and have been following along ever since. There is something refreshing about his approach, and I kinda like that he has an open letter to his students about how to attend and conduct oneself during his lectures.
§ David Murray and The Christian Man Academy. David has put together something pretty special. This newsletter is a weekly call toward Christian maturity, resourced with diverse readings and media. Each week there is a “required reading” section full of links, and there are themed discussions and videos that David produces. I’ve been thankful for this new endeavor of his, and hope to see it flourish.
Books I’m Into / Need to Finish / In the Queue
More reading would have happened, but Stranger Things happened.
The Fabric of Theology -Richard Lints
Hearers and Doers: A Pastor’s Guide to Making Disciples through Scripture and Doctrine – Kevin Vanhoozer
The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart – Harold L. Senkbeil
Plugged In: Connecting your faith with what you watch, read, and play (Live Different)- Daniel Strange