You don’t have to wear the title of leader very long to have your leadership challenged. “But I’m the shepherd,” you say. “Volunteers are the sheep, why to they think they can tell me what to do?” I know how you feel, I’ve been there too. When volunteers don’t have a proper understanding of how authority works it limits a ministry from living up to it’s full potential. Authority is not meant to hinder and limit a ministry but to give freedom. Policies, procedures, rules, checks and balances, supervisions, and managers, free us to get more done.
I hate power struggles. The devil is the originator of the first power struggle. When a team doesn’t have a proper understanding of how authority works it divides. Mark 3:24-26 tells us, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and
is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.
Why is understanding authority so important? All authority is established by God. Romans 13:1-3 says “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. In everything God established he also establishes the authority or head. God established man to be the head of the home. God established kings & rulers to be the head of governments, He established Pastors to be the head of the church, not laity, nor the congregation. Staff & other middle managers exist to serve the Pastor.
The understanding of authority gets Jesus attention. In Luke 7:2-10 it says “There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, `Go,' and he goes; and that one, `Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, `Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.”