Definition: Hypotage = arrange in order under (a recognised authority).

"No one is going to tell me what to do". "Submission" is not an attractive word in the West. Some people do not like the idea of submission because they are not "on top". The world's standards sometimes creep into the church, where they are unintentionally imitated. Take Deuteronomy 28:13: "The LORD will make you the head, not the tail"; adapted out of context, it is used in a triumphalist way on behalf of man. God will not give his glory to anyone (Isaiah 42:8). Other people feel threatened by leaders and prefer to remain outside of accountability structures.

But without submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and then to one another, individuals and ministry teams stand alone and remain limited, gifted leadership becomes dysfunctional, pursuing society's objectives, and not according to Christ.

Jesus modelled servant leadership. He was completely confident of His mission and authority, but submitted to the Father; during his earthly ministry He was prepared to wash the feet of his disciples, a duty normally left to slaves (and commanded us to have the same attitude, John 13:15).

I have seen some high potential Christian leadership teams break up. Not over doctrinal schisms, but because of relationship failures. Success went to their heads, they (tragically) jostled for relative position and ascendancy, and ultimately forfeited great blessing because their ways were inimical to the cause, character and testimony of Jesus Christ. They simply would not submit to one another.

The challenge for modern Christian leadership is to work through second order differences and keep our eyes on the prize, in a spirit of humility, collaboration and dependence on God.

"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." (Ephesians 5:21)

1. Importance of Integrated Teams

Christian teams that "work" practice mutual recognition and submission.

Mutual submission does not undermine authority; it enhances it.

2. Results of Erroneous Paradigms (1)

Many poor leadership models exist. Some are adopted by the church.

Biblical mutual submission stops us adopting/imitating the world's patterns.

2. Results of Erroneous Paradigms (2)

By being submitted to one another we actually create a protective shield.

3. Jesus Christ & Submission

"... not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)

4. Leadership in the NT Church

The NT Church recognised and benefited from diversity and plurality of leadership

5. Mutual Submission DNA in the Christian Life

Our purpose is to live by God's order in the church and home/personal lives.

6. What is Mutual Submission in Christian Leadership?

Christian leadership that works is not threatened by accountability; but embraces it.

7. Common Challenges.

There are challenges in achieving mutual submission, but the investment is worth it.

8 Benefits of Moving to a Mutual Submission Leadership Model

Mutual submission is a sign of a healthy relationship with God and church & family life.

9. Integration.

Effective ministries never work alone.

10. Implementation

Mutual submission is gift from God, to bless the church (Psalm 133).


If you are a Christian leader:
Leading this way will not demean or diminish you; it will build you up and give the Holy Spirit room to do much more than you can possible achieve alone. (After all, it is not about your superiority, your security, or your position; it is about Jesus Christ.)

God will give you the pattern and the power to exercise servant leadership as you and your team work together to built the Body of Christ and carry out His purpose in your world.

"in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work" (1 Corinthians 12:6)


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