Politics is often considered a dirty word. It brings to mind lies and manipulation, accusations and scandals. But at its most basic level, politics is simply the everyday activity of getting things done with other people: understanding their interests, recognizing the power dynamics at play, and learning how to negotiate relationships and institutions to achieve a common goal.
Therefore, to paraphrase Jesus, whenever two or three are gathered together, you have politics. This is true in all places that we live and relate to others: in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our places of work, or in the church.
I’ve recently co-authored a book entitled The Politics of Ministry. While the primary focus of the book is on professional ministry, the principles in it relate to all aspects of life. Using case studies from the book of Mark, as well as from contemporary life experiences, this upcoming Sunday morning class (June 2 – 23) will explore four core elements that are involved in working together: interests, power, negotiation, and ethical considerations. I hope we can be prayerfully led to do our work in a way that is supportive and healthy, honoring God and building up one another.