Ministerial Memos

3/4/2011 12:00:01 AM by: Rev. Dan Allen

“Authority - Under or Over”

Who’s the boss? That is always something which frustrated me working with the Elders and other leaders. They called me to be the “senior” pastor. They gave me the responsibility to grow the church, preach the sermons, give leadership, etc., yet they wanted me to submit to them.

This is not, really, a bad system. We all need to be under someone. Lord Action, who, for the record had a much longer name - John Emerich Edward Dalberg Action (1834-1902), is the author of that famous saying: “Power corrupts; absolute  power corrupts absolutely.” The actual quote, so that no one will feel I’ve taken an unjust liberty: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Absolute power in a church can prove disastrous.

We know that we are “under-shepherds”, under the Chief Shepherd. We also know that He places over and along side of us others who might not always see things they way we do, but could become a check & balance for us.

How do we handle this? Several suggestions: 1) Be cautious and careful fighting against these leaders. They might just be angels from God. Then, again, they could be demons from . . . Okay, maybe not. 2) Don’t over-react or react too quickly. It is fools who jump into the fray. 3) If the person is a stick-in-the-mud, work to get them on your side. Spend extra time praying with them. Befriending them should help. You can even change negative influencers if you let them into your inner circle asking their advice about something you are planning.

I’ve got plenty of war stories of which I failed in this regard. So will you. But, keep your head up. Thanks God for the men and women with whom He has surrounded you. And enact proper leadership principles - changing people and their minds.

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