Section 8: The Church
Week 3: The Government of the Church
Day 1: Christ Is the Head of the Church
Last week we looked at the authority and power of the Church. In theory, God could have given that authority and power to every believer to do with as he or she saw fit, without any accountability to any other believer. But God didn’t set things up that way. Instead, he instituted a leadership structure to govern the Church. Before we launch into a discussion of what that structure ought to look like, we need to start with a reminder that, whatever the structure, Christ is the head of the Church (Eph. 5:23, Col. 1:18).
There are two lessons we need to take we away from that fact:
1. Church leaders have delegated authority: As we discussed earlier, even today Christ continues to carry on the mission he started. He does that through the Spirit and the Church, but we should never forget that it is still his mission, not ours. Christ is the one with the authority and the power. He has given church leaders a measure of authority. But it is delegated authority, and is intended to be used as Christ directs, not as leaders see fit.
2. Church leaders have delegated authority. Although Christ is the head of the church, he has given leaders authority to exercise within the Church for the benefit of the Church. That authority may be delegated authority, but it is still real authority. As a result, church members have a responsibility to submit to leaders. We don’t have the option of disregarding them just because we don’t like what they have to say.
Do you think church leaders are ever tempted to use their authority in the wrong way? Do you think church members are ever tempted to inappropriately resist church leaders? If so, why do you think we have trouble is this area?
Regularly pray that church leaders would keep their focus on Christ; and commit to supporting and submitting to the leaders Christ has given you.