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Paul demonstrates relinquishing some of his rights for the sake of the church. Selling smoke detectors, narratives, and votes. I am committed to a Biblical worldview and dedicated to motivating the church toward missional thinking and practice in all areas of life. Spiritual authority is never exercised for one’s own benefit, but for those under it. Click here for my previous work on that subject in this blog). He instructs His disciples on authority in Matthew 20:25-28: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. At the most extreme, one may here the theological language that when one entity comes to a decision, it “speaks for God”. Why is LIMPING the theme of my blog? But it is all held together by one critical theological concept: spiritual authority. Luke really has an incredible way of captivating everyone’s attention and making a seminar meaningful. 9:1). It means that because a man holds office, therefore, he exercises authority. They have some kind of capacity to discern and teach sound doctrine (1 Tim. Dear Mr. Wommack, I realize that you must receive frequent letters regarding your ministry. It takes power to effect healing in someone’s body who is sick. 9. ), I shutter at how many different models of church leadership I have observed. Luke is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, presenting the interactive material creatively. Almost always, spiritual authority has been the justification for certain actions, responses, or efforts to silence critics and shame people … In 2008 we moved back to North America and bought our first house in Kentucky, USA. However, we have the tension that authority is still needed in the church, and in a church comprised of imperfect people, oversight is messy. Elders had standards for lifestyle, behavior, and doctrine (1 Tim. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. This is a perversion of biblical teaching. While it is true that God influences accountability structures to guide the church into God’s will, the language of “speaks for God” can be dangerous and lend itself to manipulative power plays. After leading several short term teams to Asia focused on unreached people groups, I married Amy from Northern Indiana and lived in that area for a year and a half. So this exercise also leaves us with little clarity about the authority of the pastor or the pastor’s place in church governance. Spiritual Covering One of the concepts that usually accompanies delegated authority is that of a “covering” under which the follower, or disciple, is protected against temptation or evil attacks. This first understanding of authority, then, is distinct from power and refers primarily to a prerogative. Let’s take a brief look at modern church offices and their use in the Bible. But the title of “pastoral epistles” is misleading to the modern mind, because it is much more of Paul shepherding his two trusted understudies, rather than the two each pastoring a single church. It is probably a safe assumption that deacons looked to elders for direction, and not vice-versa. 10. We have a responsibility to walk in this authority, but we must be careful not to let religion trick us into thinking that we are not an integral part of the promises found in the Word. While many rely on their position granted to them by another human being, true spiritual authority can only stem from God. When Christ, the “last Adam,” offered Himself up for our sins, He restored and redeemed man to True followers who submit themselves to God’s authority will remove themselves from the influence of those who are simply blowing their own trumpet and seek out another leader where’s God’s authority is clearly evident. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many. 10:1, Mark 6:7, Luke 9:1 and Luke 10:19). In any case, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what a group of elders did in the early church, but several conclusions could be made. One can see how quickly one can transition to the other in Titus 1:5-7, “…appoint elders in every town, as I direct you. My multi-part series can be easily held over a weekend, beginning Friday night and ending Sunday morning or beginning Sunday morning and ending Monday evening. The men who followed David did that. Discuss the nature of rebellion against spiritual authority. Taught elementary through high school students in a self-directed learning environment. Just this morning I was reading in Numbers 16 about the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On. • Satan offered the authority to Jesus if Jesus would worship him. In 1997, we moved with our infant daughter Brittany to Thailand where I served as director of Global Tribes Outreach. Faith is often characterized as a walk. 725 Newgate Ln Apt C, Prospect Heights, IL 60070. One who learns spiritual authority as the power base for ministry must recognize the essential Source of all authority: God. They were struck down because they “treated the Lord with contempt” (16:30). The exercise of our faith in that position of spiritual authority, enables us to do exploits for God's Kingdom. Matthew 20:25-28 reads. Second, the concept of authority refers to the power, ability, or capability to complete an action. In each case, the breakdown in accountability ultimately was the result from a breakdown in integrity and an unwillingness to follow the New Testament, counter-cultural example of servant leadership. This is vitally important to understand for the modern church leader, and probably our best example of how to navigate the inevitable “what if” questions regarding challenges with church members. Authority means you have been given the ability or strength to do something. I typically keep my events within a 1-3 day time period due to commitments to my family; anything over this length of time is generally reserved for international travel. Born in Ontario, Canada, I moved to El Salvador at age 4 to live as a missionary kid for three years. Luke Kuepfer’s high-energy presentation of the material was delightful, articulate, and profound! They believed that Moses and Aaron had set themselves above everyone else apart from God’s authority. 8. Guest Post by Dane Ortlund. Perhaps Andy Stanley says it best when expounding on a passage repeated four times in the book of Daniel (4:17, 4:25, 4:32, 5:21): “Leadership is a stewardship, it is temporary, and you’re accountable.” Nebuchadnezzar learned it the hard way but at least he “got it”! It takes physical power or strength to walk or run. 4. He speaks in humility but with authority, and injects his message with the experience and global perspective gained from living abroad as a missionary for many years. I fly out of Chicago, IL and typically purchase my own tickets; a reimbursement check made out to “Luke Kuepfer” can be mailed to 725 Newgate Lane, Apartment C, Prospect Heights, IL 60070. Moses failed by not speaking to the rock and Joshua replaced him. A leader is one who recognizes God’s authority manifested in real-life situations. If there is some sort of a hierarchy in the New Testament, both Jesus and Paul, who would rank at or near the very top, show a very different usage of that power than what is typically assumed for one who possesses spiritual authority. It means the ability or strength to do something. Luke presents it with expertise, fun, and interest in each attendee. And David removed himself from Saul’s authority as well—though perhaps more so for the preservation of his life than anything else. I have seen examples of the elder board going awry and even destroying a pastor. 3. Do I want the blog to fail? The issue of spiritual authority has come to the forefront as recent stories of spiritual abuse from powerful pastors or church leadership entities have left many victims deeply wounded. As Saul became power hungry and consumed with self-preservation a young worshiper named David began his ascension to the throne. Jesus himself expressed the world’s view of authority, and instructed his disciples to reject it in favor of a radically different approach. She considered some of the literature inauthentic, "an absurd exaggeration of the masculine style, like the swaggering gait of a bad actress in male attire." Peter even argued with Jesus and demonstrated a worldly perspective. Just last week I came across Watchman Nee’s Ten Commandments of Spiritual Authority. Your Spiritual Authority. The issue of spiritual authority has come to the forefront as recent stories of spiritual abuse from powerful pastors or church leadership entities have left many victims deeply wounded. There is also some evidence of deacons being a specific role or office in the church, and being listed separately and after the treatment of elders in 1 Timothy 3, we can conclude that deacon is not interchangeable with elder. A venue for the event should be chosen with the target audience in mind. 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