The question is not about whether or not God has power - that goes without saying - but about what God does with that power. Is power something to be exercised over others to get our own way, or a resource to be shared so that together we can have meaningful lives and relationships? We do not need to reflect for very long to come to a radical conclusion: exercising power does not build relationships - sharing it does. Thats scary, because sharing power means making ourselves vulnerable - trusting that others wont abuse the share we give them.
The Christian belief is that thats Gods dilemma too; and the cross is the ultimate price paid by an empowering and power-sharing God intent upon building meaningful relationships with creation at whatever cost necessary to himself.
The six sessions of this course examine different aspects of power in the light of this understanding. Moreover, they aim to allow participants to experience some of the issues raised. For example, in the first session members are asked to decide on the leadership of the group on the basis of the ideas of power, authority, leadership proposed by the course.
This is a radical approach to study and reflection in Lent which, though challenging, will be rewarding for the group and for each individual in terms of their relationships with others and with God whose power is love.
Michael Forster (born 1946) is a prolific writer recently retired from his post as a senior chaplain in a mental health and learning disability NHS Trust where he had served for seventeen years. During this time he regularly worked with service users, carers and staff in a wide range of settings from palliative care suites to secure forensic mental health units. As part of his professional development, he successfully undertook a postgraduate diploma in counseling and psychotherapy.