Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,[a]” or “I follow only Christ.”(1 Corinthians 1:12 NLT)
Paul had planted the Church in the great city of Corinth. He got reports that they had started to divide into groups based on the preference for leadership. If your fondness for a spiritual leader separates you from the rest of the Body of Christ, you may be on the path to becoming a spiritual groupie.
We all have a preference for how a pastor or minister leads, yet if we compare our group with others, and consider ours better, we may be following a person rather than Christ. Paul zeros in on the problem in v. 13 when he asks, “Can Christ be divided into pieces? Was I, Paul crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? It is apparent that the Church in Corinth had started to substitute mere men for the role that Christ should have had. We should honor, respect, and reasonably submit to our spiritual leaders, yet when our commitment to them rivals our loyalty to Christ, all kinds of spiritual problems arise. Christ, alone, is our one unifying factor. That is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2: 2 that he wanted only “to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
Paul, Apollos, and Peter were undoubtedly good examples of Christian leaders, yet none of them were good enough to take the place of Christ. Each represented part of God’s character, but none of them his totality. If we elevate our pastors and spiritual leaders above what they really are, imperfect servants, we are on the road to becoming spiritual groupies, dividing the Church, Christ’s Body.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing