Society is never comfortable with authority figures. Teachers, clergy, politicians, and bosses all receive criticism, and it is often justified. The much used phrase, “Avoid criticism, do nothing” comes to mind. Yet just occasionally a figure in authority comes along who bucks the trend and is a pleasure to work for. Research into who people work under the best has shown some interesting ideas. An authoritarian gains better results when in the room or building but productivity falls well down when they leave the building. A leader who works collaboratively doesn’t reach the heights of the authoritarian, yet there isn’t the same drop off when they leave the room. My own experience is that I work best when I respect or believe in my boss, irrespective of their management style.
I’m reflecting on Mark 1:21-28 for tomorrows sermon where the bystanders were amazed at the authority of Jesus. At that stage they could not ascertain whether he was an authoritarian or a collaborator. The question of authority stems from the fact of him expounding the word. Instead of quoting other people and repeating what they said he spoke through his personal knowledge. He oozed an authentic message that spoke truth and that was radically new.
It’s never easy following a charlatan or a fraud. When you believe in someone who has authority you go that extra mile.