Leaders and AuthorityBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 07/16/2023Foundation Scriptures:
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests exercise rule at their own hands and by means of the prophets. And My people love to have it so! But what will you do when the end comes? Jeremiah 5:31 AMPC
Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
Jeremiah 12:10–11 KJV
1. Responsibility of Leadership.
a. Spiritual leadership has both authority and responsibility within the Body of Christ.
b. However, some leaders have taken advantage of their position and misused the authority given them.
c. If authority and leadership are mishandled, leaders can bring confusion to the work of God in the earth.
d. Not only is it the fault of leaders, it is also the fault of those being led.
e. By continuing to accept such leadership, followers are condoning that wrongdoing.
f. Believers are responsible to analyze the quality of their leadership and decide whether to accept it or not.
g. People rise and fall with their leadership; therefore, we are responsible to judge whether that which is coming from the leaders is of God, or not.
h. Unfortunately, there are carnal people, with “itching ears” who cannot endure sound doctrine and choose to follow people who say what they want them to say and not what they really need to hear (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
2. Leaders and Followers.
a. We are to know, or get to know—recognize, perceive, and examine—the leadership over us (1 Thessalonians 5:12).
b. We do this according to the Word of God, not our personal opinions.
c. You must closely examine your leadership:
- Who they are.
- What they are doing.
- How they are doing it.
d. A leader who operates in fear, or wrong motives, will be afraid to let you know what he is doing.
e. While one who operates in faith and love will have no fear of scrutiny.
f. Leaders and followers are responsible, and the blame for error cannot be placed totally on leadership.
g. Isaiah 24:2 KJV — And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
h. All those mentioned above (during Israel’s disobedience) were to be judged by the Lord.
3. Follow Righteousness.
a. Followers are responsible to follow what is good and right and correct.
b. 3 John 11 KJV — Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
c. 1 Corinthians 11:1 AMPC — Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
d. Follow leaders as they follow Christ.
e. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV — Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
f. Examine the words and deeds of your leaders.
g. You are not to judge their hearts, but you can inspect their fruit.
h. You can listen and determine if their words line up with God’s Word.
i. You rise and fall with your leader—and the leader must lead the right way.
j. As a pastor, you have to LEAD by example—and BE an example to the flock.
k. 2 Timothy 2:6 KJV — The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
4. Released or Constricted.
a. Leadership can help you to grow and advance, or they can hold you back and prevent you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life.
b. Numbers 13:1-3
c. Moses sent twelve spies—one from each tribe—into the Promised Land.
d. Numbers 13:26-33
e. Leadership can get you to the Promised Land in six days—or can lead you in a circle around the mountain for 40 years.
f. Important points to consider:
- What church do you go to?
- Where is your leadership leading you?
- What direction are they giving to your life?
- Are you getting there quickly—or is it taking an eternity?
- Are you wandering in a wilderness?
g. Be careful who you follow—they may keep you from walking in the fullness of God’s promises.
5. Possess the Land.
a. Information plus revelation equals preservation.
b. The other spies brought a bad report—full of fear, doubt, and unbelief.
c. But Joshua and Caleb brought a good report—a faith-filled report.
d. Numbers 13:30 NKJV –– Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
e. Caleb quieted the people—reminding them of God’s promise of victory and the Promised Land.
f. Following the wrong leaders will stop you from walking in the fullness of God’s promises.
g. Numbers 14:22-23
h. They saw God’s glory and miracles; tempted Him ten times; and did not obey Him—therefore, He declared that they would not see the Promised Land.
6. Quality of Leadership.
a. Watch out for the person reaching for authority—the person with a carnal and selfish agenda—because they will do much damage.
b. Philippians 2:19-21 KJV — But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
c. Follow the leader who is submitted to God, who points you toward Jesus Christ, and who works to serve and build the Kingdom of God.