Exploring our shared commitment to doing church together
As a global communion of Anabaptist-related churches, we share a common commitment to doing church together. We also acknowledge that the church needs leaders who take responsibility for guiding and shepherding the flock. Yet we know that in our diverse contexts of church leadership, power gets exercised in many different ways.
Not So With Us (Kyong-Jung Kim, South Korea)
Some may ask: why did these like-minded individuals have to leave their home churches and start a new church movement? While many issues caused the separation, one of the key issues – perhaps the most crucial factor – was their understanding of the very nature of church. For them, the church was not an institutionalized denomination which itself creates an inevitably unequal power structure. Instead, they envisioned the church as the body of Christ, in which power is equitably shared among sisters and brothers.
A Blessing or a Curse? (Doris Dube, Zimbabwe)
For this reason I have experienced as many leadership styles as the number of leaders who have ministered to me. From where I stand as a lay person, all leaders have power, and that power in leadership can either be positive or negative. The leaders – all of whom are fallible human beings – set the tone among those they lead by the way they wield their power.
Beyond Domination and Control (Drew G. I. Hart, USA)
We must ask why the North American church – including Anabaptism – has lacked the ability to understand the fact that racism is significantly a theology and discipleship concern, troubled by its deployment of power in the church and unconsciously justified through a racial gaze.