Submission and authority is something that most folks in the church don’t have a working understanding of. The principle is this: “If you are not under authority, you can’t exercise authority.” This is an important Kingdom principle and it holds in many areas of Kingdom life. The Roman Centurion who came to Jesus on behalf of his sick servant is a great example of this.
“But the officer said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, Go, and they go, or Come, and they come. And if I say to my slaves, Do this, they do it.’” Matthew 8:8 & 9 NLT (Emphasis Mine)
Notice the Centurion said that he was under the authority of his superior officers, and that he had authority of his soldiers. Because he was under authority, he could then exercise authority. We can only exercise authority to the degree that we are under authority!
It is so vital that we learn this. We can’t afford anymore renegades or Lone Rangers running around the church who are not submitted to or accountable to anybody, and then expect that they should just be able to prophesy and speak into people’s lives. No Way! If you are not under authority, you can’t exercise authority! You are operating outside of Biblical protocol.
Right along this line we need to understand delegated authority too. Let’s say that the local ‘Set Man’ in the local church has turned the service over to the worship leader. Now the ‘Set Man’ is THE authority in the local church, but at that moment, he has delegated authority to the worship leader, so at that moment as long as the worship leader is operating under the delegated authority of the ‘Set Man’ everyone should be submitted to the worship leader as long as they are operating in that capacity. If you have something at that time you should be going to the worship leader because they are the delegated authority at that moment.
Many in this case would still go to the ‘Set Man’ because he is the supreme authority as the under shepherd in the house. But you see this is a lack of understanding of delegated authority. Even though the ‘Set Man’ (or woman, there can be ladies that are heads of ministries too), because they have delegated that authority, they are not in charge until such a time as they take it back. Folks this is part of protocol.
Let me take this in another direction while I am at it. I am a member of a local church called Community Church Fixer of Hearts in North Brunswick, NJ. My good friend and my Brother (not just in the Lord, but we are like real Brothers) Rev. Barry Habib is the Pastor of the church; he is the ‘Set Man’. I serve in the church as a teaching elder and am considered to be a Prophet and am accepted as a Prophet not just by Pastor Barry, but by the rest of the leadership and the congregation as well.
That being said, I am under Pastor Barry’s authority in that house because he is the ‘Set Man’. There are times that he has me speak or minister in the house. At those times he delegates authority to me. When I am operating under his delegated authority, folks then look to me if something is right or in order. But once I turn things back over to Pastor Barry, they don’t look to me anymore because I am not operating under delegated authority anymore.
Now let’s bring another scenario into this. I also operate in a parachurch ministry with my parents, Apostles Leo & Edith Fram, called Living Faith Ministries Int’l (LFMI for short). Some times LFMI holds meetings that Pastor Barry attends. Sometimes we even use the facility of the Community Church Fixer of Hearts building. When Pastor Barry comes to a meeting that we are holding, even if it is in his house, because it is our meeting, he comes in submitted to our authority. There are times that he gets ‘Words’ in our meetings, when that happens we delegate authority to him and he operates under delegated authority in our meeting (the same as we operate under his delegated authority in the local church).
So in the sense that we are equals and peers in the ministry with him functioning as a local Pastor, and I am operating as a Prophet, we have learned how to yield to delegated authority, and be in submission to each other’s authority depending on whose meeting it is. Folks this is a big part of protocol. If we will learn these things and practice them, we will see a much greater manifestation of not just the Gifts of the Spirit, but also of Kingdom Alignment.