Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Authority Issues

I have authority issues. For much of my adult life I have had a tendency to experience conflict with the authority placed over me. Not in every case, but often enough that I was beginning to become concerned. What was wrong with the relationship I had with my father that caused me to butt heads with some of the pastors with whom I have worked, for example?

A few weeks ago, however, I was talking with my father’s secretary and I had an epiphany. She was telling me about how he was the best pastor she had ever worked for as a church secretary. “He has never once raised his voice to me,” she said, “He is such a patient man.” That is when it hit me. It is not me or my relationship with my dad that was the problem. If anything, perhaps I hold the authority in my life to too high a standard.

Don’t get me wrong, I fought with my dad plenty as a teen. Who didn’t at that age, right? Growing up with the father I had though, I learned a few things about authority in general and in particular about spiritual leadership. Authority should be humble but competent, it should work to get the people it leads to excel, but be patient, and it should have unquestionable integrity.

When I have had problems with the authority in my life it has been because the men in that position have been hungry for power, they failed to trust and empower their teams, or in at least one case they were a complete fraud. It makes me feel so grateful to have had that example, and I try to live up to it as a father, and minister, and a leader. It also makes me fearful for the church in general to have run into so many lousy leaders in my day.

And just so you know, where I am at in my life now, I am fortunate to have a lot of good Godly leaders to look up to. I just hope that I am able to live up to that example as well.

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