What Does It Mean for Christ to be Head of the Church?

Christians generally understand that Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). After all, Scripture is clear that this is the case, but what does it mean and how are we to react to this truth?

First, Christ is the head and master of the church. It is His church, and He is its leader and guide. Many–maybe even most–Christians think of this meaning when they think of Christ as the head of the church. They consider that the church has no earthly leader, but it does have a heavenly one. This is a meaningful and appropriate way to look at Christ and His church.

How blessed the church is when we let Christ be our leader and our guide.

Second, Christ is the source and origin of the church. The Greek word for “head” has the connotation of both leader/master and source/origin. That Christ is the origin and source of the church indicates ownership and visionary leadership for the church.

Third, for Christ to be head of the church indicates the vital connection between Christ and the church. We–the church–are the body of Christ. We depend on the head for life and leadership.

The head and the body is a beautiful picture of church life. We simply cannot do without the head and the body is vital to the work of Christ on earth.

Finally, when we consider Christ as the head, we understand that we must follow His teaching and do His will.

There are many threats to the church, but none more insidious than our thinking that we can “run” the church or determine its direction.

It is imperative that we look to Holy Scripture for the purpose and vision of the church. We must follow the principles of Christ as found in Scripture.

Christ is the head of the church. We must follow His leading and seek His direction for how we live as the people of God.

One Comment


  1. James L. Atchison
    May 23, 2019

    Dr. Bailey,

    Thank you for a simple, but very powerful truth.

    Jim

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. — Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV)