Summary: A sermon no 1 in a series comparing the body of christ to a giraffe - this one is the head of the giraffe which covers leadership.

The Church :-Readings Psalm 132.

1 Corinthians chapter 12

The giraffe - Once Mr. Topsey and Mr. Turvey decided that the giraffe had it’s problems it was very vulnerable to attack - it’s neck was too long and it’s head was ridiculous - - Lions could easily attack it - it could be seen for miles - So Mr. Topsey and Mr. Turvey having perfected the hands free mobile duck and the pedal operated vacuum cleaner - decided to rebuild the giraffe.

Mr. Turvey thought a few adjustments like wheels and a V8 motor for quick escapes was the answer but Mr. Topsey thought that was cosmetic they should start all over again.

First - He said the giraffe needed a new smarter brain - so he installed the latest from Microsoft an outstanding computer - with vision enablement by fitting the latest video surveillance state of the art from Sony - The neck had to go - the neck was replaced with a telescopic ladder neck hydraulically operated which meant the giraffe could retain it’s traditional tallness but with automatic retraction for periods of unobtrusiveness - The body - processing unit for rumination proceeds now rendered un-necessary by an amazing rechargable battery - was replaced by a hydrogen balloon which meant that the giraffe whilst under attack from packs of wolves for example could float above danger. What is more it could now be upwardly mobile.

The old legs clumsy and awkward were no longer needed in the new hovering giraffe so they were to be replaced with small trees - the advantage here was that the giraffe could easily be mistaken for a small copse of trees and therefore would be free from attack.

After exhaustive testing the prototype was built and unveiled to worldwide acclaim -

Rave reviews in the National Geographic and imminent scientific journals put Topsey and Turvey on the world stage - and there were rumours of knighthood’s and a Nobel prize.

Sadly to report when the Giraffe was launched in the Kilimarno desert in Central - Eastern Western Africa it got caught up in high tensile wires leading from the power plant from the Victoria Falls and Topsey and Turvey were the laughing stock of the Scientific community and they also came close to being stock in a cannibals soup.

Scientists then went back to the drawing board and discovered that the giraffe - the way God designed it - for all it’s awkwardness and clumsiness was the best because this Giraffe had survived endless centuries and unlike Topsey and Turveys model - it had a heart - and was able to reproduce.

Today many people try and reinvent the church - People look at it from outside and are appalled at it’s awkwardness - it’s vulnerability to attack - it’s wobbling look and try to improve it - not God’s way but man’s way - but for all it’s faults for all it’s failings through the centuries we must confess that the church of Jesus Christ has survived and reproduced for twenty centuries - it has reproduced to the stage where there are more Christians on earth today than the previous twenty centuries combined and it is growing at a rapid rate all over the world today.

One of the great difficulties that people face is spotting the real giraffe.

Will the real giraffe stand up?

Over the next four sermons I would like to look at the church.

What is the church?

Are we a church built by Topsy and Turvey or are we the genuine thing?

There is no doubt that many examples of the church are not the genuine article -

The reason so many churches get caught up in the high tensile wires of irrelevance is often because of a distorded understanding of how the body of Christ lines up with the word of God.

Two clear examples are:-

A Church on the terrace in Wellington - Where the church endorses homosexual behaviour - can’t work it’s a mechanical giraffe.

Topsey and Turvey built their giraffe in four different parts.

One the head

Two the neck

Three the body

and four the legs.

On the overhead you can see these four areas converted to four important subjects that are important for the church and for the leadership of the church.

This week I would like to consider the head -

O.K. I want to think of the head in three parts - three giraffes if you like.

one there is Christ the head of the church - Jesus is our perfect head.

two there are our leaders who are His leaders in the church

and three there is our head - God has given you a brain.

Today in talking about the church I want to talk particuarily about number two - that is the leaders who are responsible for leading in the church.

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