Following The Head Of The Church

THE CHRISTIAN Church is not headless. And it does not have multiple heads either. No one bishop or apostle is fit enough to claim to be its head.

Jesus Christ alone is the immutable, living Head and Owner of the Church (Colossians 1:18). Thus, Christ uses all true bishops, apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers as His servants to accomplish God’s purpose on earth. Moreover, no man or woman qualifies to be the leader of the churches of Christ throughout the world. Only Jesus Christ is the Supreme leader of his churches which he purchased with His own blood.

Consequently, Christ Jesus leads and Christians are charged to follow him. It is thus difficult for a person filled with the Spirit of Christ to refuse to walk with him. Paul boldly told Timothy, his son in the Lord, to follow him because he himself was following Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).

So, there is nothing wrong if so many Christians follow their pastors. But how can a Christian know if a pastor he or she follows also follows Christ?

Bishop Dag Heward- Mills once boldly told the church he shepherds that they could leave him if they realised he was not following Christ. To know that a pastor truly follows Christ Jesus requires that a person adequately
knows the Word of God. When you know the Word, live in it and even as it lives in you, then, you will know whether your pastor follows Christ or
not. This is because Christ Jesus and the Word are one; so as we read and study the Word of God, we get to know Christ, how He lived or ministered. The New Testament, in particular, tells us how Christ Jesus walked – what He did and said.

The Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John speak to us about the doings and sayings or teachings of Christ. In the days of His Flesh, the Lord called people to follow  and learn from Him. And so, for example, James, John and Peter left their fishing business to follow Christ Jesus (Luke 5:10-11).

However, Jesus did not invite those men to follow Him to impoverish them but to empower them, not to endanger them but to endow them with divine graces and not to break them but to build them. Thus, Christ Jesus charged His followers to learn from Him (Matthew 11:29). Those instructions apply to today’s Church also. We are to follow and learn from

Those who respond to the call of Christ to follow Him do not waste away. According to Robert E. Coleman, Christ selects them, concentrates on them, associates with them, imparts them, demonstrates to them, delegates them, supervises them and reproduces his nature in them.

But what does it really mean to follow Christ? Commenting on 1 Peter
2:21-23 which reads, “…Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps, A.A. Allen wrote, “This Scripture makes it
very plain to any honest hearted child of God that Christ is our example in word and deed. We can, then, walk as Christ walked, and we can talk as He talked.”

But he continues that, “Before one can walk as Christ walked, and talk as
He talked, he must first begin to think as Christ thought!” This is possible
only as we “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

We are called to do what He did and say what He said. That is following Christ. And truly, the early Church strictly followed Christ; they abided in His Word, listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and did greater works just as He did. In fact, there is no reason for anyone to be confused about which man of God to follow or listen to or church to fellowship with.

We are always helped to make good choices when we pray for God’s guidance, and read our Bible, especially the New Testament, for knowledge about Jesus Christ. Christianity is all about Jesus Christ. It is from Christ. It is for Christ. It is of Christ. It is in Christ. It is on Christ. It is with Christ. It is under Christ. It begins with Christ, ends with Christ and rests with Christ.

Jesus Christ is the greatest leader to follow and subject for teaching to the Church. He is the uncommon subject, yet knowable, learnable and livable though the depth of His riches is immeasurable, unfathomable and incalculable. yes, the depth, height and width of Christ are incomprehensible.

He is worthy to be studied because He is peerless, ageless, timeless, endless, limitless, sinless and faultless. Christ is undying, unfailing and unchanging. He is God. And He is the One ministers are prepared to know, and sent to preach or teach about, to make Him known to others.

To preach or teach about Christ Jesus is to communicate His person and message. Every other thing a servant of Christ may study, know and teach is a mere addition.

Jesus Christ is the subject the world denigrates, despises and rejects because the people of the world do not know Him. They glory in their wisdom, might and riches. The world seeks and places material things, especially money far above God while true Christians place God far above these things. In other words, the world’s priority is things while Christians’ priority is God.

Therefore, a person who claims to be a servant of Christ but makes material things the priority of his or her preaching and teaching is but a dishonest, disloyal and false servant of the Lord. True servants of Christ preach and teach about Christ, and consider the teachings about wealth creation as other things or mere additions.

A worldly-minded preacher may disagree, but he who is filled and controlled by the Spirit of Christ will praise God for this teaching.