Let's take a look at the Greek verb meaning "to have power over; to overpower." The pronunciation: kah-tah-kyoo-ree-EUW-oh. It is especially significant in the context of Christian leadership.

The word first appears in the Bible in the Greek O.T. (the Septuagint), in Genesis 1:28. This is usually rendered "have dominion over" or "subdue." But our principal concern is with its N.T. occurences.

This interesting verb appears four times in the New Testament. The first two times are in connection with James' and John's desire to have the places of preeminence (Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42). Jesus strongly upbraids them, insisting that leadership in his kingdom must not be like leadership in the secular world. What a valuable lesson this is, and how greatly we have suffered through ignoring his clear teaching. Similarly, 1 Peter 5:3 states that desire to have power or control over others (the leader who is bent on getting his way) is a leadership disqualification. Interestingly, in Acts 19:16, the demon who sends the seven sons of Sceva packing is said to have "overpowered" them all -- yes, the same word.