Pastor, Pope, or Patriarch? Who Leads Jesus' Church Today?

Pastor, Pope, or Patriarch? Who Leads Jesus' Church Today?

Jesus’ apostles were a unique group of men. He called them to follow Him. They spent three years with Him. After His death, resurrection, and prior to His ascension to heaven, Jesus transferred the mantle of leadership of His church to them (Acts 1:1-11). But the apostles would all eventually die. The apostle Peter seems to dominate Acts 2-12, but he virtually disappears from the story after Acts 12. Peter did not explicitly or implicitly pass on the mantle of leadership of Jesus’ church to anyone. Paul dominates the story from Acts 13-28. But the story of Paul concludes with his “house arrest” in Rome. He, too, will eventually die.

Who, then, is the legitimate leader in Jesus’ church today? Who does Scripture designate to be Jesus’ successors? On whom does the mantle of leadership fall? Who are the hand-picked leaders of Jesus’ church today?


Pastor, Pope, or Patriach

Who Leads Jesus' Church Today?

A great variety of answers have been offered to that question. Some say “the Pastor” is supposed to be in charge. Others bow to a Pope. Some kneel to Patriarchs. But all three answers are incorrect. All three candidates fail to find Scriptural support.

If not the Pope, the Patriarchs, or the Pastor, then who is in charge? Who does Scripture actually designate as the successors to the apostles Peter and Paul? Or, is Scripture silent so that the leadership of Jesus’ church is up for grabs?

The good news is that Scripture is not silent. In his 2nd volume called “Acts,” Luke shows us the legitimate and designated successors to Peter and Paul. Just as Peter and Paul were the designated successors to Jesus, so also there are leaders today who are the designated and legitimate successors to the apostles.

For further exposition on this topic from Scripture, please listen to the message from Sunday, April 2, 2017 here.

Tim Cole