Pastor, Who Controls The Church?

Pastor Andrew SchankThe local church is the visible, practical manifestation or representation of the Body of Christ on earth. With that stated, it is a serious matter to contemplate and to speak about. We find in the blessed pages of the New Testament Scripture how the church should be functioning so as to efficiently carry out the Great Commission. One of the most fundamental questions that we have in regard to this gleaning is WHO CONTROLS THE CHURCH? Pondering this question is crucial to a healthy congregation. We have to put feelings aside, previous experience on the shelf, and chatter from friends and colleagues behind us if we are to truly grasp this principle.

Christ Is HEAD!

Upon serious examination of the epistle to the saints at Ephesus, for example, we clearly discern that Jesus Christ is the head of the CHURCH! (Ephesians 1: 20-23Ephesians 1: 20-23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.  

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& Ephesians 5:23-24Ephesians 5:23-24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  

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)  To misconstrue this axiom is to monkey around with the decrees of God! Almighty God has made it clear that His Only-Begotten Son is the head of His church. No two legged, depraved human being, regenerated or not, has any business setting himself up as Potentate of the local assembly of baptized believers.

God Empowers Men!

God The Holy Spirit empowers saved men to function in two capacities to help lead the local New Testament Church. These two offices are Pastor And Deacon. The pastor is referred two in three different terms: Bishop – meaning overseer; Elder – meaning a spiritually mature man; Pastor – meaning a shepherd. When you couple these terms together you get a spiritually mature overseer who feeds and nurtures God’s sheep as Christ, who is the Chief Shepherd, would so direct him. Deacons, who are servants of the church, come alongside the pastor to help him carry out the performance of the tasks that Christ would have him to accomplish. (Refer to 1 Timothy chapter 3, Titus chapter 1 and 1 Peter chapter 5 for more info)

Harmony Can Be Achieved!

God has ordained a balance of powers in His church which are subordinate to Christ as HEAD. They are: the pastor; the deacon(s); the congregation. This trio can work in harmony so long as they each respect Christ as HEAD and each other in their respective capacities. On this note it behooves us to consider Paul Jackson’s thoughts on this issue…


It is evident, therefore, that the Lord has designed the church with internal, interlocking powers and responsibilities. The church is to be subject to the pastor. Yet the pastor is subject to the church, in another sense, for he is called by them and may be disciplined by them.

There is no problem here except for those who will not be subject to the Head of the church. It is not difficult for a Bible-taught church to be subject to the overseer or pastor that God has sent. Neither is it difficult for a faithful pastor to be sensitive to the will of God’s people. What a lovely and delightful relationship exists between pastor, deacon, and people when all are subject to Christ the Head.

It is vital that this happy relationship should always be evident in each church. When there is jealousy, bitterness, self-seeking and strife, the testimony of the Lord suffers, saints and sinners are caused to stumble, and the church loses its power to be  a blessing because the Holy Spirit is grieved. Pastor and people must both recognize that the honor of the Lord and the welfare of His church must take precedence over personal differences. Let s suffer wrong. Let us “lose face.” But the Lord must not be dishonored, His church be divided, or sinners be offended.

- from page 43 of The Doctrine and Administration of the Church by Paul R. Jackson (ISBN: 0-87227-013-0)


It is unfortunate that many pastors and congregations have not been taught right concerning this matter. When direction is sought in connection with coming to a decision on a particular issue, Christ’s Will is what matters. It is ALL about Him anyway, isn’t it? Let us seek to “find out which way God is going and go with HIM!”

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Originally posted 2011-12-03 18:55:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Andrew Schank

Andrew Schank is an Independent Baptist Missionary/Pastor who loves to blog about spiritual matters! His main ministry website is Andrew is also a contributing author to two other blogs/websites including and Pastor Schank's Church website is
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