1 Kings 1:23
And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.
Nathan was the prophet of God, and in this day, Nathan was a higher power than the king. Though the king held the throne, the king would bow to the prophet when he came into the prophet’s presence. However, in the verse above, we see Nathan bowing before the king. Was Nathan saying that his position was lower than the king’s? No! He was respecting the order of authority.
In 1 Kings 2, we see this same narrative between Solomon and his mother, Bathsheba. When Bathsheba came into Solomon’s presence to ask a request of him, he bowed himself to his mother even though he was king. Again, it was not that his mother held a higher position, but Solomon was respecting the order of authority.
The order of authority is critical to any organization running peaceably and smoothly. In a church, there are many positions. Each position is an authority in its own area. What you will find is that one authority may be under another authority at one time, and then the one who was an authority over another will be under the same authority they once submitted to.
Let me illustrate this principle. I am the Pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church. I have assistant pastors under me who have responsibilities that I have given them. When I give them a responsibility, they become an authority in that area. For instance, my son-in-law, Bro. Randy Hall, is the Youth Pastor at our church. He is in charge of scheduling and running all the youth activities. If I happen to be involved in an activity, I do not take charge of that activity because it is his area to run. I submit to what he asks me to do even though I am his boss. Now, I have the right to come in and take control of the activity, but I bow to him because it is his area of authority. However, when he comes to me as Youth Pastor asking the Pastor how he should do things, he bows or submits to me as to what I believe should be done. The ability to submit to each other allows things to run smoothly and in order.
My friend, your ability to lead will be determined by your ability to submit to other leaders when you are under them. You are a poor leader if you cannot submit to others. Not only will you be a poor leader, but you will make your position of leadership all about you. You must learn that when you are under another leader in their area of authority that you must submit to them and let them lead. You may not agree with how they lead, but that is not your area to determine. Too many leaders feel they need to tell others how to run their area when it is not their business to do this because it is not their area of authority.
Moreover, you will always be a follower, even though you are a leader. It does not matter what position you hold; you must follow those leaders who are given an area of responsibility. The worst thing the top leader can do is delegate a responsibility and then not let the one they delegated to run their area. If you don't let go and let a leader run their area, you will hurt the organization and peace in your church or business. If every leader learns to respect another leader’s area of responsibility, much work will be done in the LORD’s work without strife hindering it.