The book of Hebrews has a statement that every Church attendee should know.
Hebrews 13:17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Let me begin by acknowledging the word “submit.” Some ill-intentioned leaders have used this word to abuse their power. They shout, “You have to do what I say.” Their promotion of this verse is not the way of Jesus or a proper understanding of submission. This one word has made this verse something leaders shy away from and has caused many to dismiss it. I will move past a complete explanation of this submission but know that I am not promoting the abuse of power by any leader, especially religious.
The rest of the verse is gold. Let me summarize it this way, “Trust your leaders, so their work is a joy.”
As a long-time Church leader, I must underline this truth; please trust your leaders. Not everything they do is perfect, and mistakes have been made, but they know more than you do about the situation. There are stories you do not know; they might not even be able to share. There has been research put into issues, prayers offered, and conversations of which you know nothing. The rumors and gossip shared with you by those others than the leaders are biased and almost always wrong. Simply trust your leaders or find leaders you can trust.
When a group of people or individuals stirs up a lack of trust in their leaders, it doesn’t take long until no one wants to be a leader. There is no joy in the work, and they can go anywhere to find abuse and dissension.
Then there is this final line, “For that would be of no benefit to you.” Whenever leadership is undermined in their work, leaders get scared to make decisions, become apathetic and quit. Then a Church is left without the people willing to stand up, and they drift into ineffectiveness, routine, and chaos. Often the loudest complainer takes charge, and their leadership is negative and destructive. Gossip, rumors, backbiting, anger, and disunity are not beneficial to the Church or to the individual believer in any way. Never. Nope. Never.
A healthy Church is about Jesus first and foremost. It is also a place where leaders are allowed to make decisions and even mistakes. If you place your confidence in them and help their work be a joy, everyone is happy, and the Church moves forward. Whenever you encounter someone who is promoting a cause against the leaders, you are only hurting yourself by supporting them. A strong Church leadership is not perfect, but it can build a healthy congregation through the Holy Spirit’s power and the support of everyone.