In her book Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence, MaryKate Morse stresses the importance of leadership, not just for a select group of individuals, but for everyone. Morse asserts, “God did not design us to be benchwarmers; we are all players. And since we are all part of this great game, with one great mission-to be Christ’s light to a dark world-everyone gets to play. Everyone needs to play”. Too often, leadership is reserved for a few individuals that make decisions for those who follow. It is easy to see how people in authority can assert their own agendas without fully realizing the consequences for those who must live with the decisions. It is also easy to view power as a necessary evil. We need power to lead. This power may come from natural charisma to influence others or an appointed position of authority over other individuals. Morse points out that power is neither good nor evil, it is neutral. It can be used for good or evil depending on the person who holds it. “Power is a neutral, natural and necessary component of influencing and leadership.”
Power in the Church is often viewed as a negative. Countless books have been written in which the villain is a high-ranking clergy member. Whether it is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas or recent Hollywood movies, the image of a corrupt and powerful church leader is no stranger. What makes matters worse is the fact that this image is not just fiction, but an all too frequently occurring reality. This may be part of the reason servant leadership is often viewed as being devoid of power. The humble servant will sometimes avoid taking on roles in which he or she will hold greater power. Morse points out that, “Power is God’s gift. Powerlessness is not a virtue; rather, using power to help the powerless is. This is the true meaning of servant leadership.” The true mark of a servant leader is in the ability to use power to empower others.
Along with understanding power, the leader must also understand the use of space. “Without having presence in a group, there is little or no influence.” Morse shares great real-life examples of how individuals can use space to either exert their power over others or serve others through inviting them to use their gifts and abilities. As I read Making Room for Leadership, I reflected on the truth of this concept. I have witnessed people exert themselves on others in both formal and informal settings to the detriment of the group. What I had not thought about was the fact that the group actually ceded power and leadership to these individuals. The group actually gives leadership, often without realizing it. I have sat in numerous church meetings in which someone uses space to bully others. By better understanding the dynamics of space, the godly leader can identify and address the improper use of space and help create space for others. The servant leader can also begin to exercise leadership and influential power without waiting to be appointed to the “role” of leadership.
One final observation from Morse, “It’s not very common to find overweight people in significant leadership roles.” Ouch! This underscores the reality that leadership is not simply about ability, it involves human prejudices and emotions. All of these things must be taken into account when a person gets off the bench and seeks to be a leader.
 MaryKate Morse, Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2008), location 1511.
 Ibid., Location 512
 Ibid., Location 518.
 Ibid., Location 801.
 Ibid., Location 947.