Leading People is a Sobering Responsibility
Spiritual Authority Requires Spiritual Accountability.
Leading people is a sobering responsibility. The Bible says ‘Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them…continually recognizing their authority over you; for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account of their trust.’ Heb. 13:17(Ampl.)
Many leaders focus on the first part of this scripture…..demanding that people obey and submit to them. However, I find myself drawn to the last part; the responsibility. Leading people in the church comes from God-given authority to oversee the assembly of believers: authority to watch over their souls, guard their spiritual welfare, and be accountable to that responsibility.
With authority comes responsibility. With responsibility comes accountability. With accountability comes the sobriety of leadership; proving faithful to the trust given by our Father
The Father called me to pastor people by being a shepherd of the local church. It took thirteen years of seasoning, equipping, character building and, at times, personal resisting before being commissioned and ordained into the role of pastor. At the time of my ordaining, the apostle who laid hands on me also prophetically declared the apostolic call on my life. Wow! I had just become a pastor……how could I even think about being an apostle? It was another eight years before I entered into the role of apostle. Today I am accountable to God’s authority to lead those who are part of our local Crossfire church and those who choose to become part of the CrossFire International Alliance. I am not accountable to whether anyone obeys or submits! I cannot control a person’s decision to apply the ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ of Hebrews 13:17. Response to new covenant authority is voluntary. However, I can control how I ‘watch over’ people’s souls and ‘guard’ their spiritual welfare. I am the conservator of the trust given me by the Father. I soberly test myself on what I have done with that trust. I am accountable to the Father and to people.
Every servant-leader in the church should consider this perspective of leadership…it’s not the ‘obey’ and ‘submit’ we need to attend to. It is the ‘watching over and guarding’ that we must attend to. We are not accountable for what someone does in response to our authority, but we are accountable for what we do with our authority. Be very blessed as you carry out your responsibility of leadership!!