I wanted to cover a few thing concerning church leadership: Why we should submit to their authority, what we should do if we don't agree with a leader, and what the Bible does NOT say about following church leaders.. I realized that I could probably write a full post about each of these, but y'all might get tired of reading them after a while so I decided to post an email from one of my pastors in answer to my questions about authority in the church instead..
"The scriptures are very clear about staying under the authority of church leaders.
The fact is church leaders are always going to make decisions that some people don't agree with. If people insisted on NOT coming under the authority of leaders every time they got bumped or didn't agree, the Church would be in a mess! That's not God's design. God establishes His authority through leaders and demands that we trust HIM in the leaders. Remember, we are all human.
If a person feels a leader is wrong and it's not a "sin issue," they have three options...
1. Submit and trust God's leading
2. Appeal to the leaders of the church with humility.
3. Find another place to fellowship but leave with the leadership's blessing. When people leave because they are offended, their offense just follows them and they cause problems at the next church. Happens ALL the time.
As you know, God is HUGE on the authority HE establishes. Let's take me, for example. God has placed me in leadership. It's not always easy. I'm not always popular for decisions I have to make. It hurts when I have to confront and say things that are truth but hard for the person to hear. BUT God put me in this position so I follow His leading.."
There is one more point I would like to make..
When I am discussing church authority and how we should follow our leaders, someone usually says "Yes we should follow our church leaders, but only if we believe they are leading us in the right direction." When I ask how they know that, I get one of two answers. "It's in the Bible" or "Well it's a matter of discerning, if you 'just know' then you shouldn't follow them"..
First, it is not in the Bible.. There are warnings against false prophets, and instruction on how to determine a false prophet. But there is nothing in the Bible that says not to submit to church authority if you personally feel they are wrong.
Second, in my opinion it's not about discerning, it's about knowing Scripture.. If you feel that your church leader is leading in the wrong direction, don't just go with your gut.. The Bible says nothing about going on a hunch, follow your feelings, go by instinct, etc.. If your 'discerning' is legitimate, it will line up with the Bible.. If it doesn't, you aren't discerning.. Period.
So, before you decide that the leaders in your church are wrong, before you go around telling other people in the church that the leaders are wrong (which by the way is spreading discord and dissension, something the Bible DOES say not to do), do your homework..
See what God has to say about your opinion..