“If anyone aspires to the office of overseer (or ‘pastor’ or ‘elder’), he desires a noble task” (1 Timothy 3:1).
Authority is not a particularly good word in our modern western culture. Many people decry the abuses of authority we encounter all around us, and rightfully so. However, the abuse of something good doesn’t make a good thing bad.
The Bible’s entire storyline is centered upon good and right authority. Essentially, when humans embrace God’s authority they flourish; when humans rebel against God and try to establish authority elsewhere they suffer. Adam and Eve exemplify this reality at the very beginning of the Bible, and the rest of the story is a continual picture of God calling humans to submit to His appropriate authority.
In the local church, we discover God’s good authority expressed through mutual submission to the Bible. Furthermore, we also come to understand God’s design for all sorts of authoritative relationships in our lives. This is especially true in the biblical office of pastor or elder. God delegates authority, and God calls all people everywhere to embrace and encourage godly authority.