Monday, January 7, 2013

The Morning After: Jesus, the Senior Pastor

Yesterday, I started a new teaching series at Cornerstone on the nature of the church. I have this burden in my heart for those that play the game of church. I simply do not understand why people call themselves Christian and then never seek to be involved in the the church. My goal in this series is to find our way back to what God has designed the church to be. My only explanation for why people are avoiding the church is that that the church has drifted so far from what God made it to be. My prayer is that those who attend CBC would fall in love with the church because they are so in love with Jesus. And their love for Jesus moves them to want to be involved with His involvements.

The very first mention of church in the Bible is found in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus famously says, "I will build My church." This section of Scripture is not teaching papal authority, starting with Peter and being passed down through the generations from pope after pope. It is teaching the exact opposite. Jesus is saying that He will be the One who will build His church. And nothing is going to stop Him, not even death.

That was the main point I was trying to communicate yesterday. Jesus is the One who leads the church. If we define "senior pastor" in the sense of the ultimate leader, then that designation must be made of Jesus. It is not a man. It is not a pope. It is not a prophet or special teacher. The buck stops with Jesus. That is one reason why I dislike my current job title. I feel as though there is someone who falls above me in any organizational chart. In fact, as I will preach next week, I am not even alone on the next level of the organizational chart (I believe in a plurality of elders).

In Ephesians 5:23, Paul says that Jesus is the "head of the church." Much has been made about this term, "Head" (kephale), which seem obvious that it means "authority over." It means what we would think it means in reading the text. Jesus is the leader. He has the authority. He is in charge (see also, 1 Cor. 11:3; Col. 2:19; and Eph. 4:15-16).

What does this mean? How is it practical that Jesus is the leader of the church? Does it mean that we have an open office at the end of the hallway for Him? Should His name be in the bulletin every Sunday with this title? Is this just a matter of semantics? I tried to show at the end of the message several practical implications of Jesus being the head of the church.
  1. We Should Submit to the Authority of Jesus By Submitting to His Word.
  2. We Should Respect and Honor Those in Leadership Without Worshipping Them.
  3. We Should Be Actively Engaging the Local Church Because It Is the Lord's Plan for Our Spiritual Growth.
  4. We Should Find Joy Not in Our Positions, but in Our Leader.
If you want to listen to how I break each of these points down, you can listen to the entire sermon by going HERE (usually posted by Tuesday). Or you can read my notes by going HERE.

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