A Discussion of Power as it Relates to a Local Church Context

Power relations, then, are either coercive or generative and, within a church, either absolute or negotiable based on how power is perceived and distributed within the church organization. The complexities of applying religious characteristics to power that is really a socio-cultural construct can cause restrictions in growth and distortions in representations. Most of all, power relations within a church group can either include or exclude participation from members and visitors. If any lasting change is to be affected, perceptions of power must be understood and challenged where necessary and a system of practice that includes rather than
excludes individuals is required. Where this does not happen, congregations last as long as those in power. There is no progress possible beyond those individuals.

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