6 Sources of Power

I’m reading through Leadership Divided and it quotes something from John French and Bertram Raven. They call these the 6 sources of power but they could just as well refer to influence in general. They are:

    1. Positional – based on a person’s role, which gives them the ability to give orders and make demands
    2. Referent – based on being liked or admired
    3. Coercive – based on having the ability to control something someone else needs
    4. Reward – based on the ability to grant or distribute rewards, including money, recognition, promotions, referrals, or other favors
    5. Expertise – based on having knowledge and skills that others do not possess or that are needed for a specific task
    6. Experience – based on having information or perspective that others do not have

This got me really thinking about what I naturally do and what I see those who I follow use. It seems to me that there are really only half of these that I would consider positive ongoing reasons for people to follow you: referent, expertise, and experience. This offers an interesting filter from which to observe and navigate the workplace.

N.T. Wright on the Church

In his book Simply Christian, N.T. Wright spends a chapter discussing the church as it should be. I think he hits on some very true insights especially with the wave of people today who believe that social justice replaces the ministry of the church and that house churches are the extent of Christian fellowship and community that we need.

“…it is as impossible, unnecessary, and undesirable to be a Christian all by yourself as it is to be a newborn baby all by yourself. The church is first and foremeost a community, a collection of people who belong to one another because they belong to God, the God we know in and through Jesus. (210)”

“But ideally every Christian should belong to a group that is small enough for individuals to get to know and care for each other, and particulalry to pray in meaningful depth for one another, and also to a fellowship large enough to contain a wide variety in its membership, styles of worship, and kingdom-activity. The smaller the local community, the more important it is to be powerfully linked to a larger unit. The larger the regular gathering…the more important it is for each member to belong also to a smaller group. (212)”

I’ve Joined the Podcast World

My messages each week are now available on podcast. To get them on your iPod or computer follow this link and click on the podcast icon next to Third Format.

Someone Has a Sense of Humor…

I had a pretty funny experience last night. We were given tickets to a concert with “Big Daddy Weave” and “Mark Schultz,” two Christian artists, along with a group of other people from Central. It was at the Celebrity Theater; which if you’re not from AZ is a venue with a rotating stage.

I had never heard of either of these two groups and I knew that they were not really my style of music but I was looking forward to spending time with the group. After dinner with everyone, we went to the concert. It had already begun so we tried to find our seats in the dark when I realized that our seats were in the second row! I could literally have leaned over and touched the band as they spun around in front of me.

We were so close that the band members were making eye contact with me and I found myself smiling back. We had a great time and I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of it all.

Vanity on the Rise

A recent study has found that today’s college students are more narcissistic (characteristic of those having an inflated idea of their own importance) than previous generations. They attribute it to things like MySpace and YouTube.

It raises an interesting thought. Does our current cultural love of things like personal web sites (MySpace), shows about our peers and possibly us (reality tv), and websites where we can be famous for our own home videos (YouTube) foster an attitude of narcissism? Even as you read this you are reading off of my personal blog webpage! Maybe we are just fully tapping into the “American Dream,” the idea that anyone can make it big if they work at it enough. Or maybe we are heading a direction that few of us realize.

With technology always on the rise I fear that we may become more about ourselves and less about true community. Many people thought that technology would bring us together but it seems to be doing the opposite. How do we have an attitude like that of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:3-5) and humbly put others before ourselves when it gets easier and easier to focus on us? Take it even further…why waste time with other people when we can be truly self sufficient? I believe that the Church (as it should be, not necessarily how it currently is) has to be on the forefront of helping people get back into true community with one another and with our Creator. Then maybe people would realize the value of fellowship again and see the beauty of God’s creation coming together in all of its diversity.

“It”

As per request and continuing with my poetry theme, I decided to post a poem I recently used in a sermon.

“They laugh and smile and talk and embrace and I do too. But sometimes my smile covers a tear. And no one knows. Right now my tear is from an ‘it’. I’m sorry, so very sorry I did ‘it’. I feel like a broken record and the skip is the ‘it’ that never completely goes away. What would they think if they knew my ‘it’? Would the laughs vanish? The smiles disappear? Would the talk be hurled at me? The embrace taken back? Do they have an ‘it’? What do they do with ‘it’? Why do we act for each other when there is no play? There is only life. And that life includes a lot of ‘it’. The point is not to celebrate ‘it’. But only to admit to ‘it’. I am told Jesus knows everything which means he knows about ‘it’. And yet, He whispers in words too good to be true … I died for you. ‘It’ is dealt with. Don’t worry about ‘it’.” –Chip Heim