Summary: Understanding a Variety of Motivational Controls: Power, Influence, Force, and Authority - John 20:21

Understanding a Variety of Motivational Controls: Power, Influence, Force, and Authority - John 20:21

The following four motivational factors; power, force, influence, and authority are to be seen from their sources in the Lord, the scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and the will of God. When the seminary students at Jos E.C.W.A. Seminary were surveyed they indicated a great emphasis on power for their motivations. However, as they grew in the spiritual, social, and intellectual maturities they tended to resort to more of an authoritative - influential basis for their own family, personal, and ministry motivations. Let me summarize the four control switches for most motivations:

1. Power - Often the leader who uses power as his chief motivator imposes it through the following four channels. Sadly, many student conform outwardly to such a leader, but inwardly resent his uses of power over them.

a. Relational - This man shows that he has relational powers to motivate others to do their best.

b. Demands rational perceptions - This man insists that rational perspective give the greatest results.

c. Conflict of values - When a disagreement occurs this man sees it as a simple conflict of values in youth against his values. His greater power affects the outcome.

d. Threat of severe sanctions - This man uses threats of boycotts to exercise his power over others.

2. Force - The leader who uses force as a motivator often inhibits youths’ true faith development. Often followers of this leader have very low moral development. They usually do what is right only because they fear punishment for contradicting his leadership. Their values are ignored because the leader threatens them with the following channels of his use of force.

a. Relational to nonrelational - This man forces his way through with those he knows in high places. Or, in many cases he disregards people shutting them off from access to his resources.

b. Noncompliance - This man refuses to go along with others using force to accomplish this.

c. Nonrational behavior - He acts irrationally with violence or angry words.

d. Conflict of values - He counters others values with demonstrations of his force.

e. Application of severe sanctions - This leader imposes monetary, personnel, or communication sanctions to show his force.

3. Influence - When a leader invisibly affects the thinking, attitudes, and actions of another he does it through influence. However, the trouble with influence as a motivator is that its effects tend to wear off unless they are periodically reinforced. Paul influenced the Thessalonians by encouraging, exhorting, and imploring them as a father would his own children. (I Thes. 2:10,11)

a. Relational - This leader motivates his followers by establishing positive relational confidence.

b. Demands rationally perceived understandings - This man motivates through shaping of others value systems through a positive demonstrations of his own values.

c. Conflict of values - This man motivates by showing the negative sides of his values through contrasting examples.

d. No severe sanctions - This man refuses to apply sanctions of love, resources, or communication because he wants to maintain his influence.

Example - Perhaps one of the greatest missionary pioneers was Count Zinzendorf. He founded the Moravians mission which sent out hundreds of missionaries and church planters around the world during the 18th century. The influence he had with his missionaries is amazing study in motivational leadership styles with youth. Since he came from an upper class noble family, he had to learn how to work across cultures in his missionary work and over sub-cultural-class borders in recruiting candidates for the mission field. Ruth Tucker writes the following about him’’

``As a missionary statesman, Zinzendorf spent thirty-three years as the overseer of a world-wide network of missionaries who looked to him for leadership. His methods were simple and practical ones that endured the test of time. All of his missionaries were lay people who were trained not as theologians but as evangelists. As self-supporting laymen, they were expected to work alongside their prospective converts, witnessing their faith by the spoken word and by their living example - always seeking to identify themselves as equals, not as superiors. Their task was solely evangelism, strictly avoiding any involvement in local political or economic affairs. Their message was the love of Christ - a very simple gospel message - with intentional disregard for doctrinal truths until after conversion, and even then, an emotional mysticism took precedence over theological teaching. Above all else, the Moravian missionaries were single-minded. Their ministry came before anything else. Wives and families were abandoned for the cause of Christ. Young men were encouraged to remain single, and when marriage was allowed, the spouse was often chosen by lot.’’ (Tucker, 1983: Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, p. 72)

Zinzendorf’s influence included all of the above elements:relationships, rational, minimization of conflict of values, and yet a subtle threat of sanctioning if the missionary did not subscribe to the norms of the group. At one point the sanctioning of the youthful missionaries became so severe that the movement was almost ruin by a fanatical emphasis on suffering like Christ. Again Tucker writes:

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John Gullick

commented on Aug 9, 2007

Great illustrations and an excellent topic. Recommend this sermon provider as one of the best on this site. John gullick

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