A.W. Tozer wrote this:
"The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks our bylaws. He's a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we're in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we're asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn't a God I could have much respect for, but when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is, we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight." (The Quotable Tozer)
Here's what Paul said:
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. (Col 1:15-18)
Who leads your church?
We can ask God to bless our plans, our programs, our vision. Or we can join God in what he is doing, following where he leads us, responsive to his every whisper.
Let's make "Jesus, head of his church" a practical reality.
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9 replies on “Who leads your church?”
I really liked this post. You hit the nail on the head. The leader of the church should be Jesus. When we attempt to take His place, the church cannot be what it was intended to be.
Still, there aren’t many Christians who would disagree with that statement. It’s just that the practical headship of Jesus is difficult to understand in an institutional setting. Members of legacy churches might agree with the statement. They do so with the thought, “Yes, Jesus is head of our church” without fully understanding what that means. Of course, I don’t think I fully understand what that means yet either.
Our legacy church had its annual congregational meeting last night. It was one hour long. Half of it was taken up talking about replacing windows and the furnace and installing air conditioning. Not one word on mission apart from reporting how much was spent on missions (12 percent, and not all of that actually goes to missions). Of a $245,000 annual budget, about $60,000 is allocated to the mission of the church. (That 25 percent includes Sunday school and youth and small groups, mission giving and “leadership development,” which means sending the pastor to conferences.) The rest of the money goes to facilities, administration. One third goes to salaries and benefits for two pastors and staff. I could say more. I’m kinda numb.
The reason I put that down, I guess, is in reaction to the Tozer quote. There was lots of self-congratulation. but there was nothing astonishing. God very much was caged within the bylaws.
Sadly, I think what you describe goes on with many churches.
it does go on in many churches. i am glad that God is beginning to change my heart and my mind when it comes to A) merely keeping the programs running, keeping the customer happy and B) reorienting our lives around Christ and the missio dei.
my/our only hope as you mentioned is to recalibrate around Jesus. it will require patience, in fact it may require a lifetime embedded in one local community for it to happen. as a pastor i find this call to deeper church exciting…
thanks for the tozer quote. thanks for the challenge.
I appreciate the Tozer quote Felicity. I have been spinning some thoughts lately that will soon transpire into a blog post I’m sure :), but this quote fits perfectly with it.
Basically what I’ve been chewing on is that many times I find myself empathizing with atheists. Paul said that Jews (Christians) are the reason God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles (Rom.2:24). The pathetic versions of God we present to the world deserve to be critiqued, mocked or even entirely rejected.
Craig, I’m reminded of a Mahatma Gandhi quote too: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Michael, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch have written a great book on this subject called ReJesus.
Jesus the Head, the ‘CEO’ of His Church. If He is, we can put it this way even. Say He’s calling up a ‘meeting’ of all His staff but when that time comes, all is present except one – the CEO. Question: Would his staff continue having a meeting or not? If they do, what would the CEO call it? Having their ‘own agenda?’
The H.S. is the third ‘person’ of the Trinity. Its recognition is just like while Jesus here on earth physically.
If we want to taste the fullness of His presence, then we better trust Him fully!