Let’s go deeper. We say in belief and teaching that Jesus Christ is the head of the church. “And he is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18). He is the “chief Shepherd” of our souls. (I Peter 5:4). The truth is that if you are a follower of Jesus and a member of His church, He must be your leader. He must also be the leader of the human “lead pastor,” so Jesus is ultimately the Lead Pastor of the church, which is you and I. This is Scriptural, and we want to obey the Word of God, but how does this work? The real Jesus, God in the flesh, does not stand up on Sunday morning and give a message. Yes, but He empowers and equips people with His Spirit to share His Word. The real Jesus does not physically sit in your living room and share His love with your neighbor, but His Spirit in you leads you to be Jesus to your neighbor. The real Jesus doesn’t use your ATM card or write your checks, but Christ gives joyful obedience in being a cheerful giver! Jesus, our Lead Pastor, speaks through the Spirit and reminds us that the Father heart of God calls us to love our neighbors, everyone, in truth.
Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27) Christ in you, the hope of glory, is the great mystery that we present to a dying world. Jesus is our Lead Pastor. I am your servant for Jesus’ sake, and my job is to point you (and sometimes carry you) to Jesus Christ, encouraging you to be clear representatives of this “mystery” of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We are only human, but Christ in us, the hope of glory, brings divine power granting us everything we need for life and godliness. For now, I seek to follow Christ with my whole life, point others to Jesus, and encourage believers to be honest-to-goodness ambassadors of the grace given us in Christ. This is your job too if you are a repentant believer, since Jesus is to be your Lead Pastor as much as He is mine.
After here and now, there is eternity. Eternity will either be heaven with God, or hell without God. Lord Jesus, be the Chief Shepherd of FJMC. We would have it no other way. And Father, help Rich as your undershepherd.