Church Politics, Why All Leaders Need to Be Followers, Church Government
We have an unhealthy church culture in which people in ministry and leadership often believe they are above what they sing and preach. For example, many worship team members and leaders habitually go hang out somewhere in the church building after they “perform” and do not sit under the word. Also, many elders and leaders in the typical local church lead small groups and/or preach, but themselves do not have a place in the church for personal ministry and accountability. Also, often lead pastors preach accountability and submission to authority, but themselves have no one outside their local church that speaks into their lives.
Following are four dangerous attitudes that lead to rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-15):
Rebellion is the “sin principle” in which all other sins, including pride, are manifest.
Isolation is, in this context, when a person cuts themselves off in their heart and mind from allowing other people to speak into their life. For example, you can be physically present in a meeting but emotionally disconnected from the voices of those around you. Just because you attend church and/or leadership meetings does not mean you are not isolating yourself. The fact of the matter is, when you shut yourself down emotionally from others and refuse to walk in honesty and transparency then you are isolating yourself. Extreme cases of isolation manifest in a person cutting himself or herself off from a local church, but this first (more subtle) form of isolation is where it begins.
Isaiah 14:12-15 shows how Lucifer kept on saying “I” before he led the rebellion against God. Whenever you think of “I” and not “we” and “us” you are beginning to get into dangerous territory.
Autonomy is, in this context, when your isolation leads you to reject all authority over your life. Whenever anyone shuts themselves down emotionally from their overseer, they are beginning the process of rejecting their authority, thus setting themselves up as the lone authority. Isaiah 14:14 shows that Lucifer’s isolation eventually led to him making himself equal with the Most High God in his heart.
Whenever a person, especially a secondary leader in a local church, makes himself equal in authority to the lead pastor, division is not far behind. Lucifer went from being one of God’s most trusted archangels to leading a rebellion against God. Isaiah 14:14 shows he tried to make himself equal with God, and Revelation 12:4, 7-9 shows how that led to rebellion against the authority of God.
If Satan was audacious enough to attempt to bring rebellion against God, how much more will he try to bring rebellion and insurrection against a local church? There is only one vision in every church. Any secondary leader who has their own vision that does not point to the vision of their church is drawing disciples away unto themselves (Acts 20:30), and is already causing division, which means two visions (even if there is not yet slander or gossip).
4. Uncovering the leader (Genesis 9:20-27)
All leaders are fallen sinners. Nobody is perfect. When you see a fault in a leader, it is an opportunity to pray for them and/or walk in Matthew 18:15-17. If it is a serious sin like heretical teaching, fraud, adultery or abuse, then you should tell one of the elders and ask for a hearing to confront the pastor or bishop. If none of the leaders agree with you, and you are convinced there is serious error, then leave the church as quietly as possible. Leave it to God to judge.
When all is said and done, we need to deal with the weaknesses and sins of our leaders with an attitude of covering their sins instead of humiliating and uncovering them. The son of Noah who uncovered him (Ham) was cursed for generations. The other two sons, who walked backwards and covered their father’s nakedness, were blessed for generations. In the same way, David never killed King Saul when he had the chance, because he did not want to touch God’s anointed. He said, let God judge him. In our context, uncovering can be slander, gossip, backbiting, complaining, and body language—anything meant to undermine and belittle the authority of the leader over your life.
Rebellion is when we outright reject any spiritual authority over our life. This can come as a result of arrogance (thinking we know more than our leaders), and/or unforgiveness, bitterness or a hurt inflicted in your mind by the leader. Rebellion against God-given leadership is really rebellion against God (Matthew 10:40), and will lead to a severe divine correction.
Setting up leadership the way God instructed usGalatians_5-22-3: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law
In Numbers 11:11-17 we find that God told Moses to choose the 70 elders who would lead the congregation of Israel. God then took of the spirit that was on Moses and put it upon those elders. This is profound because if God was the One who chose the elders, then the elders could bypass Moses and go directly to God, thus undermining Moses’ authority. Also, God did not just put His Spirit on the elders; he took of Moses’ spirit—which was a combination of Moses’ life experience, character, vision, anointing and spiritual DNA—with the Holy Spirit and put it upon those elders, so the vision and calling of the nation would continue. Hence, all leaders should carry the same corporate anointing God put upon their visionary leader in order to see the purpose of the congregation come to pass.
Furthermore, in Numbers 27:20 Moses had to lay hands upon Joshua and impart his authority to him in order for the congregation to obey him.
In the New Testament, Ephesians 4:7-12 teaches us that grace to be empowered for service doesn’t come directly from heaven, but through the grace already given to the fivefold minister you are sitting under. Thus, grace for salvation comes directly from heaven, but grace for ministry comes from God through the ministry gifts to the church.
Finally, Ephesians 4:15-16 shows that every member in the body of Christ should be in a place to receive ministry, including the lead pastor, bishop or apostle. The lead pastor should be able to have regular leadership meetings for mutual edification in his local church. He should also have an overseer outside the local church who speaks into his life, holds him accountable, and can be called upon by the church elders in case of an emergency, or when serious charges are brought against him.
May God give us a healthy church culture in which all leaders become followers of other leaders, who also have leaders speaking into their lives, Amen!
May God Bless Nigeria, America And Israel And Take Care Of Us; May God Make His Face Shine Upon Us, And Be Gracious To Us; May The Lord Lift Up His Countenance Upon Us, And Give Us Peace, In Jesus Christ Name, We Pray! Amen!
May The Grace The Lord Jesus Christ, And The Love Of God, And The Fellowship Of The Holy Spirit Be With You All. Amen!