I’ve been taught this week about leadership from reading paul’s letter to the Corinthians. It’s made me think about the role of those who are apostles, pastors, teachers, prophets, and evangelists (Ephesians 4).
Paul uses a word often in this letter: authority. That’s a loaded word for sure. What authority? Who gave it? How to use it? Do you really have authority if people don’t recognize your authority?
As a leader in a church I have never wanted to pull out the authority card. It seems to me that by the time you feel the need to use that card the people that pushed you to that point won’t listen to you anyway. So why do it? Why not just let it go?
I think leaders often wield their authority way too often and way too early. Paul started by loving and serving the Corinthians. It was only after repeated attempts by Paul and others to bring correction that Paul started stating his authority. And then it was only with people who had a rebellious heart. Sometimes I think pastors start with their authority and try to end with love when they should actually start with love and end, only if necessary, with their God-given authority.
By the way, there is a way to daily walk in authority without being a dominating, control freak…but that’s for another post.