This past week I was reading and came across again the verse in Hebrews 13:17 - "Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God." It's a verse I've known for awhile. Even though I'm a strong female, I've always recognized the way God designed authority. Now, I'm pretty vocal when I disagree, but those who are in authority over me know, that although I'll share my thoughts and want to discuss it and be heard, that I would never go against what they have to say, because I feel that God designed authority in the way He did for a reason, no matter what.
This authority thing is tough sometimes because I know that when God places a person in authority over me, that His will for my life has to be filtered though that particular person. There have been times in my ministry that I've felt that I could not really trust the person who was in authority over me to make right decisions for my life. But through those times, God taught me alot about trusting HIM and the way HE designed things. I learned that all I have to do in those situations is pray. Pray A LOT for those who were my authority figures, that their relationship with Christ would be super intimate, that they would hear him clearly as they made decisions, for not only their own lives, but the lives of others who were under their influence.
Lately I've been a little lax in praying for my leaders in reference to their authority. Mostly because I know them and I have a whole lot of trust in them. I know they are praying, I know their relationships with Christ is super intimate and I have huge respect for them. I know I can trust them with my life and that their decisions are better for me than the decisions I could make for myself. Wow, there's a lot of comfort in that. I hadn't really thought about it until I read that verse again this week. I'm super thankful to have this sort of peace. It feels really good to be able to walk in that kind of trust.
Then I kept thinking about my ministry and how being on staff at this church automatically makes me an authority figure. I don't really like the thought of that very much. I don't like to be the person that God's will for people's lives could actually be filtered through me. It's scary to me. It's not that I don't like it because I don't want to do it, it's just that, I don't want to mess it up. It's a big deal. And I realize that being an authority figure automatically means my relationship with Christ just doesn't affect me, it affects a whole lot of people.
I like how the verse ends, "They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God." This means number one, I gotta be alert to the condition of their lives...which means my introverted self has to push outside my natural tendencies and find out "how you are..." Donald, (our worship leader and one of my authority figures) does a good job of this. On Fridays, our small team of 5 meets, and every few weeks he makes us share what's happening with us. Not just "what's up," but what's REALLY going on in our lives, the deep, sometimes beautiful, sometimes hurtful, sometimes ugly parts. And he shares himself too. I think this helps our team in many ways (how we get along, understand, and love each other), but I think it also helps him as he makes decisions about things that affect our lives...it makes him "alert to the condition of our lives." Then the verse ends "they...work under strict supervision of God." I'm so thankful that God's my supervisor, if I'm truly listening to Him, surely I can't go wrong!