The change in my thoughts about leadership in marriage was a minor process for me. It was actually just a natural extension of examining my thoughts about authority, leadership, and submission within the church.
I accepted the fairly common belief that God appoints leaders in the church. In the last few years at our CLB, we were exposed to increasingly authoritarian teachings and models of leadership. For the most part, I didn’t question the teaching. By nature, I tend to be a rule-follower. Going along with those in charge wasn’t a problem for me. In fact, I was a strong supporter of being “submitted to the vision of the senior leader.”
It wasn’t until I ran headlong into blatant control and abuse that I began to question anything. Looking back now, I can see that sooner or later, a collision was inevitable. I was having trouble with the concept of rank and positional authority. I was also having trouble with required submission and covenant.
In the beginning, I was confused and willing to believe that I was the problem. All of my understanding from Scripture about authority was filtered through the grid I had been taught. In questioning those things, there was always the nagging thought that I was just rebellious. I didn’t want to be rebellious; I just wanted to understand.
Deconstructing my beliefs about church leadership, structure, and government truly felt heretical and subversive. I entertained teachings about mutual submission from a distance, not yet willing to own them. So, I just pondered. I had to allow time for emotions to heal and for the pendulum swinging to subside.
I have finally come to the place where I feel clarity in my beliefs about power and authority in the church. I’ll share some of those thoughts in a future post. I still have questions about how this plays out in organizational structures. It is an area that I continue to explore.