I started writing this series on authority among the church several weeks ago, and, almost immediately, I began putting off publishing? Why? Because I honestly didn’t want to publish another blog post, much less another series, on the topic of authority.
Unfortunately, whenever I write about the church gathering together, authority pops up. Whenever I write about the Lord’s Supper, the topic of authority is raised. When I write about spiritual gifts, someone brings up authority. When I write about missional living and gathering new believers, authority is brought up.
Authority among the church is a topic that touches every aspect of our understanding of the church. And, if we don’t talk about it, it quickly becomes the “elephant in the room.” It may not be the elephant in the room that no one talks about. Instead, it’s the aspect of the church that everyone assumes and affects everything that it means to be and act as the church as as God’s children.
In the next post, I’m going to examine a passage of Scripture in which two people ask Jesus for a position of authority under his own authority. That’s right, they did not want to usurp Jesus’ authority. Instead, they wanted to exercise authority under Jesus’ authority. I think Jesus’ response is very important to this discussion.
In the third post, given Jesus’ response to authority in the previous post, I’m going to ask the question, “How does someone lead without exercising authority?” In this post, I hope to make a very important distinction between authority and influence.
In the fourth post, I want to answer another question: “Doesn’t the existence of elders indicate that they have some kind of authority?” In Scripture, it’s clear that there were elders among those early churches, and it’s clear that everyone believer was not considered an elder. Does this distinction indicate some type of authority?
In the final post – unless I change my mind – I’m going to look at the relationship between shepherding and overseeing and exercising authority. Elders were instructed to shepherd and to oversee the church. Again, doesn’t this indicate some kind of authority?
I’m assuming that some of my readers will disagree with me. That’s fine. I only ask that you consider what I write, and deal with my arguments. I’m willing to learn from my readers, but I’m also hoping that you would be willing to learn as well.
Finally, this topic needs more discussion… much, much more. So, please feel free to add your own thoughts to these posts.
“Authority Among the Church” Series
- Authority among the church? Starting a new series.
- What did Jesus say about positions of authority under his own authority?
- In the church, how does someone lead without exercising authority?
- Does the existence and recognition of elders indicate that they have positional authority?
- Does shepherding and overseeing suggest exercising authority?