An Overseer is a Brother Worker who is responsible for and supervises the Head Workers assigned to a region (territory, state, province, etc.) Countries also have Overseers. Overseers have different styles of administration. Some are authoritarian, some legalistic, while others are more relaxed and allow the members to let the Holy Spirit to guide them.
1 Cor 12:4-7 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
In a few areas, there is an Overseer of Overseers, sometimes referred to as the All in All. For many years, George Walker was the All in All of American states east of the Rocky Mountains. There is probably one in Europe.
Acts 20:28 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Authoritarian Worker Quote: I would just like to encourage you to accept this support that Willis and Jim have at the present time as a reality and to respect that decision because it comes from a group of men whom God has called and whom God is using in guiding his work in this part of the earth. If our attitude towards them becomes disrespectful, it is a reflection on our attitude towards God as well.
We realize that the fact that we are servants of God, or even very responsible servants of God, doesn’t make us infallible. However, something that is very much a part of being a child of God is to respect those who are over us in the Lord, to pray for them, to obey them, to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Their judgement may not always be right, but it is always right for us to respect that judgement and to work with it in the best way that we possibly can.
So, there are two possibilities regarding the decision of the overseers….One possibility is that the decision is a right decision for the province. That would mean that they are seeing some things in the picture that some of us are missing when we look at it. Another possibility is that it was not the best decision for the province. But, whichever is the applicable possibility in this case, it does remain the right thing to respect that decision because of where it has come from and to work with it no matter what our own thoughts might be on the subject.
This is a very practical area where we can exercise the teaching of 11 Corinthians 10:5, “- bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” We may think that we are “obeying men” and not “obeying Christ” when we submit to something that seems wrong to our own thinking. However, the scriptures teach so much about submission e.g. to the government of the land, wives to husbands, children to parents, the Lord’s people to the ministry, etc. That teaching doesn’t just apply when the governments, husbands, parents or workers are 100% on the right track, but it applies in a very comprehensive way (Overseer Dale Schultz Letter April 12, 1999).