The Scope of Spiritual Authority
What would the church look like if more people viewed spiritual authority the way Paul did? He wrote:
So if I boast a little too much about our authority, which the Lord gave us to build you up and not to tear you down, I will not be ashamed of it. 2 Corinthians 10:8 (NIV)
Now remember, Paul still corrected the Corinthian church when they accepted sin. He still protected them from false teachers. He still spoke truth. He still put them in their place.
But his goal was to build them up, not tear them down.
I’ve met some church leaders who are definitely spiritual fathers. They don’t compete with their kids. They do what they can to encourage people, build them up and launch them to their destiny. I have to give out props to my pastor Stan Lagore of Highway Christian Centre and my first overseeing pastor Gordon Setterlund – who happens to be my uncle. These men are spiritual fathers and I’m fortunate to have them in my life.
I’ve met a number of other pastors who are working out how to use their authority in love. They will arrive in time. The grace they’re showing to others will one day shine through them.
But I’ve connected with too many pastors and church leaders who think their position give them special authority. You had better not question their decisions and definitely not their motives. They are into control. They teach you can’t understand the Bible without them. They preach condemnation and make you feel like dirt and then give you a list of rules they can’t even follow. How long oh Lord?
I get to work with a lot of young ministers and so I do my best to drive the limits of their authority into them. Their only authority is to build up and not tear down. If you can love and still correct sin, you have an authority that’s rare to see.
What does this mean to you? Not everyone reading this is a pastor or church leader. Remember the question I started with?
What would the church look like if more people viewed spiritual authority the way Paul did?
What if we all understood our job was to build up and not tear down?
If you’re in a community that understands this, be thankful and work to keep it on track. If you’re not in a community like this, can you help change it? If not, look for the words of life. I’m praying for you.
Can I Pray for You?
Lord, no matter where we are, we are joined around the world and across time to every other follower of you. We are your church. We are your bride. We won’t complain, we’ll work to change. Help our communities to reflect your grace.