Pastors Aren't Accountable to God Alone

In some Christian circles it is taught that while you are accountable to your pastor, your pastor is ultimately accountable to God, and to God alone.

The ministry of Moses is generally upheld up as the Biblical basis for this model of ministry.  It's a pyramid shaped, top-down approach to doing church.  Under this structure, the pastor hears from God, and then directs the entire life of the church.  After all, like Moses he climbed to the top of a mountain, obtained a vision from God, and has come down to speak to the people.  His word is law, and questionable practices are to remain unquestioned.  Dissenters are looked down upon, chastised as rebellious, or counseled to find another church.

In a nutshell, the pastor is viewed as the boss of the church.

For many, this seems like a perfectly Biblical way to do church.  After all, it is based on the ministry of Moses.  And Moses is in the Bible.

The major problem I find with this idea though, is that as "Biblical" as this model of ministry might be, I can't help but feel that such a model of ministry today is actually "demonic" in its nature.  And it is demonic, not because it's not Biblical, but because it's not Biblical enough.

As I've previously pointed out, Moses is dead.

Therefore, being dead, we should look to move on from our dear brother Moses.  Moses had a specific calling for a specific time and place, and that calling died with him.  God called Moses to establish the Old Covenant, and therefore his ministry took on a structure that was in keeping with Old Covenant religion.

But, the problem with this idea is that we are now under the New Covenant, and instead of having a dead Moses to model ourselves after, we have a living Christ that we are to follow and serve.

Jesus's model of ministry is very different from that of Moses, and trying to emulate the model of Moses under the New Covenant should be as sternly rebuked as the Galatians were by the apostle Paul, for attempting to impose Old Covenant legislation on gentile converts to Christianity.

There are some things that just don't mix.  We need new wine-skins.

We need a wine-skin that is compatible with the fact that Jesus Christ is alive and is the head of the church.  And while there is not disagreement among any that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, they teach such only in some abstract theoretical and esoteric way.  But when it comes to practical application of this doctrine in church life, we inevitably appoint a  "senior" pastor or pope-type/Moses-like figure to be the head of our churches, locally and universally.  And in doing such, we subvert the ministry of Christ by appointing somebody else to be in charge besides Him.

Biblically speaking though, Jesus Christ alone is the head of the church, both locally and universally, and is such without appointing some folks to fill in on His behalf here on earth.  That is, Jesus Christ hasn't given the church another Moses.  Jesus Christ has given us Himself, and Himself alone.  No church needs a senior pastor or pope.  It just needs Jesus.

And under the rule and reign of Christ over the church both locally and universally, we as Christians are called to submit ourselves to one another.  Under this model of ministry, pastors aren't calling all the shots.  In the church, we are to have no pope but Christ.  Jesus Christ alone is boss.

Instead of being called to call all the shots, God has called pastors to merely be those who come along side other believers, and teach them how to follow Jesus in their daily lives.  And seeing the authentic Christ-like life of their pastors, those in the church should gladly submit themselves to the teaching and way of life that these pastors both practice and teach.

But those pastors who are getting too big for their britches, such men need to be reminded who is really in charge of the church.  And it's not them.  God did not call them to be the boss. God called them to simply serve alongside others, and to teach them the ways of Jesus.  And such isn't really complicated.  It doesn't require a degree from seminary to do.  It doesn't require the leadership skills of a famous CEO.  It simply requires two brothers who are committed to serving God together, with the stronger being able to help along the weaker.


  1. There is one more thing worth adding regarding the "Moses Model" that some churches are now following. In Numbers 12:3 it states that Moses was the most humble man on earth. This was a very important qualification that must be noted. If you take any common, ordinary Christian with "ordinary" pride and then give them the kind of power Moses was given, what you are going to get is disaster. Even Moses could not responsibly follow every direct instruction from God and was judge because of it. Pride does come before falls. In our current church culture we are gravely underestimating the destructive power of pride in leadership. Humility is badly understood, and is practiced far too little.

  2. That's great, King Jimmy! I'm working on Sunday school, and we're in Hebrews. Your old vs. new covenant is right in line with me. Either you're right, or we're both wrong. ;-)