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Primarily using Paul’s letter to Philemon, this topical study looks at the idea of leadership "beyond rank and power." Weighing in at one mighty chapter, Philemon is the shortest book written by Paul and one of the shortest in the entire New Testament. Yet a glimpse at this short epistle begins to show us why it was included—this little work packs a powerful message. In it, Paul deals with issues associated with slavery, a core social institution and reality of the ancient world. In Paul's dealing with the cultural expectations of slavery, however, there is far more here than just discussion about an ancient institution. Paul also treats the topic of social roles and the profound change that knowing Jesus should make for people. Here, he is engaged in dealing with themes tied to power, rank, justice, and mercy.
Leadership beyond Rank and Power urges us to consider that rank and power are not the key lenses through which to view relationships, even in social contexts where we might have rank. Leaders who truly lead also guide others into being better, not only in the tasks they perform but also in how they do it.
These Bible studies are part of The Bible and Your Work Study Series. Each book contains Scripture references, thought-provoking questions, and prayers to help you explore what the Bible says about work and apply it to your life in positive, practical ways. The lessons in each chapter are designed for thirty-minute lunch breaks, although they can be used in other formats as well.