11/26 Hebrews 13:17

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

"Submission" has become a word with negative connotations. Whether it is wives submitting to their husbands, or parishioners submitting to their leaders, there have been so many bad examples that we'd rather do without the Bible's instruction. But the problem is not with the Bible. It is with our lack of godly husbands and elders. There is a lack of godly men who will die to themselves to unselfishly serve their wives and their churches.

It is your responsibility to seek out a fellowship where the elders are chosen according to the biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Once you find that church led by godly men who reach their decisions through prayer, then submit to their leading. One of the greatest burdens to pastors is the divisiveness caused when someone in the congregation builds a faction to resist a decision of the elders. It is certainly helpful to voice an opinion to the elders, but then accept the decision they reach. They are seeking to glorify God and to build up the members in the Lord.

When you disagree with their decision, trust the Lord to work through the situation to teach you or them. Usually the fruit of the decision will be evident in time. Pray for your elders to clearly hear from the Lord. Resist the temptation to gather others to your opinion. If you will follow this instruction, the elders will watch over your soul with joy and not with groaning.

Consider: Leaders always face criticism because they lead. You can be an encouragement to them with kind words and willing obedience. In doing so, you are being faithful to the Lord.