The Headless Church

David Landegent

READ : Ephesians 4:11-16

He is the head of the body, the church. (Col. 1:18)

There's something about a headless body that gives us the creeps. That's why the headless horseman is so scary in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Even more horrifying, however, is a headless church. This happens whenever a church operates without a living connection to Jesus, the only King and Head of the church. Such a body might think about the Head, believeLead your church, Lord, so that we head in the right direction. in the Head, tell stories about what the Head did when it was on earth, and even wear bracelets that say WWTHD (What Would The Head Do). But in everyday life, each part of the body goes on doing whatever it wants to do, without regard to what the Head wants.

The stomach squabbles with the mouth over what to serve at the church supper. Each foot insists that it knows which praise songs are best for toe-tapping. The fingers can't agree on whether hands should be folded for liturgical prayers or raised high in free-style praise. Each part is going its own way, pursuing its own mission, and tearing up the body—all because they have lost connection to Jesus, the Head.

Fortunately, Jesus has compassion on the headless church. He continues to speak the truth in love through the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers so that the whole body would grow together in him (Eph. 4:11, 16). The church might ignore its Head, but he won't let it go on without him.


Lead your church, Lord, so that we head in the right direction.