I’m still waiting for it – the church marquee that says:
Senior Pastor: Jesus Christ
I could not think of anything greater than to be part of a fellowship of believers where Jesus Himself is intentionally given charge to lead His church, where all bow before Him whether pastor or deacon or so-called layperson. Paul insists that Christ must receive the preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18). Toward Him all must move.
Last week in our theology class I surveyed the main Scriptures having to do with authority in the church. I feel there are so many things in our churches that are inconsistent with Paul’s pronouncement that Christ is first and that everything must enhance His preeminence. How is it, I asked, that no one can name the “pastor” of any New Testament church? The answer is precisely because their first priority was Christ. The leadership they had was a “fellowship of leadership” (Michael Green) – a group of co-equal, non-hierarchical leaders who sought to steer their flocks’ energies into loving God, loving others, and loving the world.
It is essential that Jesus Christ be dynamically first in the life of our churches. When He is at the center – leading, empowering, directing, rearranging – our churches will no longer be pastor- or program-centered. To let a man or a method become too important is not only carnal, it’s idolatrous. It is an affront to Jesus Christ, who is the church’s only Senior Pastor.
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