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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Responsibility and authority

One of the great indicators of our culture and society in America is a need for checks and balances. Its the basis of our democracy. The legislative, judical and presidential branches are all founded on the principle of balance of power and authority.

The kingdom of God is not a democracy but a theocracy based upon the will, not of the people, but of God in our lives. It is a principle that is much misunderstood in the church today.

There are many who seek after authority without responsiblity. They relish the idea of being a leader in the body of Christ, but are not interested in picking up the obligations of continual work to see their ideas flourish and implemented. They sit in board meetings, committee meetings, throwing around ideas, making sure they are informed, guarding their own power and authority, like little queen bees in the hive of church life.

Then there are those who are responsible and obedient, but who flinch at any hint of leadership or taking authority in their lives.

But both are needed. The extremes if they are not there together? Authoritiarian behavior one one side and doormat behavior on the other. A person with great authority who has nobody to be odedient to is in great spiritual dangers. Yet, a very obedient person who has no authroity over anyone is equally in danger.

Jesus is the great example of balance between authroity and responsiblity. The one who was given all authroity in heaven and on earth said, "Let it be as you, not I, would have it." Matthew 26:39.


Jon said...

I truly believe that to be a good leader, you must be a servant at heart. That is, by taking a serving attitude, you place more emphasis on people than on product, more emphasis on doing it right than just getting it done, more emphasis on spreading the wealth than on increasing the corporate bottom line. Jesus gave us this example, not in parable but by his actions, and it is one that we should emulate. Forget emulate, we should live for Christ and he died for us...with all our heart and soul and body and mind!

There are a number of leadership types: authoritarian, consensus, democratic, and free reign. In the course of my life, I've seen them all in practice and had to use three of the four (I never could get the hang of that free reign thing) to lead soldiers, cops, firefighters, family, and friends...the thing that sticks with me most is that while leading, I learned the most by consensus or democratic means. But that has not stopped me from being placed under, nor using, the autoritarian leadership style! We must all submit to the authority of Almighty God...the question is, when will it happen? During our lifetime, or as we are judged at the Great Seat?

Having re-read that...boy, I ramble!

Jon said...

Hey, does anyone realize that the time on this page is all messed up? I left my post at 12:47 PM and it reads that I left it at 5:47, you have to love it!

BTW, in the last sentence of my first paragraph, change the word "and" between Christ and he to an "as" so that it will read, "...we should live for Christ as He died for us..." Thanks.

Firstag Music said...

I can probably tell you more about how to change the time settings on this blog than I can about authority.

There are certainly times for authoritarian actions such as when my daughters refuse to eat their dinner for the fifth time. It is not their opportunity to vote on the subject! The dinner table is not a democracy. But hopefully my wife and I can come to a consensus and avoid free reign. At the same time, I want my daughters to know how much I love them. The balance is sometimes hard to find since it is also my responsibility to make sure they are well cared for. So where does this leave me?...

To change the time settings on this blog, go to and sign in. Click on your blog name and then choose the tab at the top of the new page called "settings." Under "settings", choose "formatting." Half way down you'll see "Time Zone." Change that to [UTC-5:00] America/Detroit and choose "Save Settings" at the bottom of the page.

Jon said...

Thanks Bill...I think it got fixed. Raising kids is, at times, the most frustrating, worrying, exasperating, and anger-invoking task known to man; at other times, there is no greater reward on earth than to have your kids crawl up in your lap just to cuddle! Balance and faith, that is our prayer and hope for our children!

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

Youth Extreme said...

Authority, Leadership, obediance...Three very distinct and different positions. Authority means position and responsibility. As a father I am the authority of my home. Ultimatly I am responsible for how my home is run and the actions of my childern and wife. The decisions I make should be final and discussion should not occur. But as the leader of my home, I look for input from my family members so that the decisions I make will be for the good of the family. Obediance means we all accept the rules and try our best to live with in those boundries.

Why do we in the church look to criticse those in leadership while not stepping up to offer help and assistance? Why do we go to our friends first to explain the faults and problems with a leader instead of going to the person and discussing our concerns?
Leaders lead because they are passionate about making a difference. The differnce between church and the community is that to many times the church ask people to participate vs. allowing folks to volinteer, who do not share the same desire for change and growth that the leader does. So there is a lack of true obediance with in the group. In the community, people who share the same passion for change come together to make a difference. They offer input, ideas and are committed to seeing change occur. These people are not asked to participate they volinteer. Both groups deal with the same issues, personal agendas, feelings and emotions...But a good leader can and will deal directly with each of these and keep the group focused on achieving the goal. It is a fine line we walk in the spiritual community to satisfy the spirit while pleasing the flesh. I could discuss this topic for hours but will stop here after rambling on....

Perry said...

what did you say???? hummmm...that sounds really good...we are in TX reading your blog...of course,...with your lovely Dad ..:=)P

jarTO said...

There are many who lead, but do not consider themselves "leaders," nor do others label them as such. Look around and many follow "leaders" because of their character and integrity, not because they say "I"m a leader, follow me." Those that lead by example and with passion for what they believe are often the most humble and impact the most. Look at Mother Teresa.

I agree both responsibility and authority are needed. If we take time to look to our ultimate authority, Christ himself, He will reveal to us the areas we need to relinguish, as well as the areas we need to take hold of an run (responsibility & authority). Unfortunately, many of us (me included) run at times in the flesh with our heads saying and doing what 'we' think is right, not what God wants us to do. When we look to Christ for everything and in everything, the "balance" is there.