Break those Chains!
Jesus didn’t establish a chain of authority.
While some of his disciples expected to receive formal positions in his kingdom, Jesus refused to create a hierarchical system.
He said to them, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so among you.”(Mt 20:25 NIV)
Surprisingly and in spite of these words, most churches are organized as hierarchies, very much like public authorities or business companies, following a system of government that is in effect contrary to what Jesus had in mind.
In contrast, Jesus envisioned a spiritual family with deep covenantal relationships. You don’t accomplish this through bureaucracy or management. In his kingdom, we submit to Jesus’ lordship. Here, authority is not delegated downward but distributed outward, equally to everyone. Its purpose is not to control and govern people, but to advance his Kingdom against spiritual darkness.
Each disciple is connected to Jesus directly. Every new-born believer has the same opportunity to live under his authority, not under another disciple, albeit a leader or a teacher. Still, there will always be leaders and teachers and other anointed ministries. The point is that we do not govern or control each other through formal positions and formal power. There is equal access and empowerment and status for everyone.
Hierarchies with their chains of authority are invalid expressions for what the church is or should be. In fact, these systems are counterproductive to what Jesus had in mind.
Therefore, let’s free ourselves and one another.
Let’s break those chains!