How is the authority conveyed?
My written contract of employment with the church includes the following provision:
The Transition Pastor shall be granted all authority constitutionally entrusted to the Senior Pastor of the church.
In addition, the Transition Pastor may need to exercise significantly greater authority, with the intention of returning control to a retrained and renewed leadership. This approach is guided by Titus 1:5.
Therefore, the church leadership and members must be teachable and willing to undertake work necessary to have their church "set in order" for effective, biblical ministry. When the Transition Pastor calls for it, they will temporarily relinquish their authority to the Transition Pastor and to assist him by following his leadership, especially in the early stages of the work.
The church leadership will cooperate with the Transition Pastor in confronting any issues of sin or other issues hindering the ministry of this church. While it is possible that the local Constitution and By-Laws may not be followed to the letter during this time, the process will not violate Scripture.
As I've said, this is non-negotiable for me. If the decision making body of the church balks at this I point out that the contract provides them the ability to terminate me with 30 days written notice. That generally mollifies their concern. I have yet to have a church reject this provision.
What happens if you don't have the authority?