Examining the Authority of Church Leaders in African Christianity

Christian F.W. Gbekor ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.6  No.8  November 2020 Issue  Article 3 pp. 364-373
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020113  |   Published online 10th November 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


It has been said that the missionaries came to Africa with the mindset that Africans were without culture or at best, they had an evil culture that must be completely eradicated. They rejected anything African so as to introduce the Western culture which they considered enlightened. However, whatever teaching that the then missionaries and church leaders later introduced, would have to be processed through African cultural lenses. By that, the people applied their own cultural concepts to the teachings they received. This paper examines how cultural concepts of the authority of leadership help the African Christian to situate and interpret the teachings and practices of the universal church from their own perspectives. Authority is defined and examined from the perspectives of legitimacy and functionality. The question of who has the final authority in the church is also discussed to strengthen the corporate leadership practised and offer some solutions to challenges of in-fighting within the leadership of congregations.

Keywords: authority, legitimacy, functionality, consent

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Christian F.W. Gbekor holds a PhD in the Study of Religions from the University of Ghana, Legon. He is an ordained minister of the Global Evangelical Church and Senior Lecturer at the Global Theological Seminary, Adenta Accra and Maranatha University College, Sowutuom Accra.

Gbekor, C.F.W., “Examining the Authority of Church Leaders in African Christianity” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 6 no.8 (2020): 364- 373  https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2020113

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).