Q &A: HOW FAR DOES A PASTOR’S AUTHORITY BIBLICALLY AND LEGITIMATELY EXTEND?
The pastor’s office is that of a bishop (1 Tim. 3:2), an elder (1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-3) an overseer (Acts 20:28), and a supervisor (1 Pet. 5:2). All of these terms imply and insist on a certain authority and leadership role that has been divinely given to those who pastor the Lord’s churches; a role that needs to be recognized and respected by church members. But this authority has its limitations.
Pastoral authority should be confined to specifically spiritual matters such as preaching and teaching, counsel and admonition, and the general administration that is needed in a church to maintain decency and order and facilitate the church’s mission. But this authority is not all-inclusive. It shouldn’t be expanded on illegitimately and sinfully by imaginative men who find ways via the wresting of Scripture and their carnal powers of persuasion to intrude themselves into every area of believers’ lives to the point of micromanagement.
Churches are hurt where pastors allow themselves and are allowed by churches to overstep the biblical boundaries of their office. Individuals are spiritually and emotionally crippled and pastors bring the judgment of God upon themselves wherever this happens. And it shouldn’t happen anywhere. (Please subscribe at thatwemmayknnow.com for email notifications of my posts).