19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. 20 “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.”
The elders of Israel favoured earthly kings like all the other nations have instead of God. God granted their wish anyway but warned them of the dire consequences (v11-18).
In the similar vein, as christians, we suffer unnecessarily dire consequences when we fall into the trap like the elders of Israel by favouring mortal man with charisma as the head of the church instead of Christ, our supreme leader.
Colossians 1 :18
Once we follow any human leader, we are just like the people of the world. Hear what Paul says :
1Corinthians 3 :
5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.
6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.
7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.
9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
Too often we have seen dire consequences just like the people of Israel experienced as a result of putting human leaders over our lives instead of Christ. We have seen church splitting and members hurt because of leadership conflicts and party spirit (I am for Paul, I am for Apollos). We have also seen spiritual abuse, unreasonable demands, manipulation and control and in extreme cases, we have seen cult leadership arise and the subsequent controls, demands and hurts families have to endure.
As long as we understand that Christ is the Head of the church and we are His body (irrespective of whether anyone functions as a pastor or evangelist etc or any leadership capacity) then we are in order and in unity. Whenever there is disunity in the church, the first sign to look for is "who is the leader?"
However, when one who is a pastor or a prophet who starts claiming to be the head of the church and demands that everyone has to listen to him because God speaks through him, then the alarm bell should start ringing - this is usurp of Christ Headship and if we follow this leadership, then we are rejecting Christ as leader.
As long as we understand that the function of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and the pastors and teachers are to equip God's people to do his work and build up the body of Christ, and not control or lord over us, then we will be free to be under the continual leadership of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11- 16
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Please know for sure Christ Headship or Leadership brings freedom and liberty to the church. Hallelujah.