Senior Pastor in first Century Church? There wasn’t one. — Keith Giles

Notice how throughout 1 Corinthians 12 the emphasis is not on one particular member but on the entire Body itself. This is especially significant when you consider that this church in Corinth was probably one of the most troubled and morally challenged churches in early Christian history. Even so, Paul never abandons the shared body ministry in order to correct these errors. He never commands their elders to take control and whip people into shape. He never addresses the senior pastor at all in this letter, or any other letter. Why? Because there wasn’t one.

The overwhelming evidence throughout the New Testament is that every baptized believer in Christ was automatically ordained by the Holy Spirit into the ministry of Jesus. There was no separation between clergy and laity. Were there some within the Body who were gifted to teach and to encourage and to lead? Yes, of course. But the entire life of the Church did not revolve around these few. Instead, every single believer was empowered to contribute and to speak and to use their gifting as the Holy Spirit directed. According to the New Testament, when the church actually functions as a real Body, and when Jesus is really the Shepherd, the entire Body will be healthy and operate as God intended all along. It makes me wonder how can we continually refer to ourselves as “The Body of Christ” if we do not actually engage in the organic form of shared life as described in 1 Corinthians 12.

Giles, Keith. Jesus Unveiled (p. 42). Quoir. Kindle Edition.

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