The above question was recently asked and answered (in connection to the preacher’s “authority”) in an issue of Gospel Minutes. I always enjoy the Q & A section of their publication.
I believe a sufficient answer was given (the basic gist of the answer was “not the preacher”), but I would like to add one more “suggestion” that was not included. A suggestion I cannot say I have ever seen/heard included when this question is being addressed (although I hope you’re familiar with it).
Who’s in charge if a congregation has no elders? The answer is the same person in charge when a congregation has elders – Jesus.
Now I know most people ask the question in order to find a way to settle “minor” issues congregations may face, but in my experience (for whatever it’s worth to someone else) I have seen several congregations get themselves in trouble because they’re looking for a boss instead of a leader.
Most issues faced by a congregation (save the whole “color of the pews” quagmire) can be solved by looking to the scriptures and making decisions accordingly. It really is that simple.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:15-18 NKJV)