Church Head Minister (Kyokaicho)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

A church is made up of a head minister who serves as the representative minister among its officials, a number of officials, and followers. The church head minister is not appointed merely as a result of human deliberation or conventions. A church minister is determined after an application has been made to Jiba or Church Headquarters and sanction has been approved.

The efforts of one person to pursue the Divine Model of Oyasama, striving to sprinkle the fragrance and engage in salvation work, guide a number of people to the path who are nurtured further and become filled with the yearning to assemble together. An application to establish a church is made after these people discuss the prospect among themselves and decide to make the very person who has played a central role in guiding and nurturing everyone their head minister. While the candidate for church head minister may be selected by human deliberation in this manner, the person becomes head minister only by receiving divine sanction after God the Parent accepts everyone's sincerity in coming together in a unity of mind. The person who serves as head minister has been entrusted with a great mission as the core of the church, which is to last for all ages to come. Such is the weighty position of a church head minister.

God the Parent teaches us:

This path is for one person to stand at the fore and nurture others who are to come.

Osashizu, September 19, 1898

As indicated here, it can be said that the mission of a church head minister is to nurture others with his or her utmost sincerity while leading the way in following Oyasama's Divine Model. Further, it is important for staff ministers and followers to look up to their head minister as their spiritual parent, open their hearts and confide all matters to him or her, straightforwardly accept their parent's instructions intended to help with spiritual growth, and unite their efforts in a unity of mind to build their church as a training center for the Joyous Life.

The path belongs neither to a realm of learning nor logic. It is the path of sincerity where tens of thousands can be saved through working with the mind alone. Consequently, we are told:

Listen and understand the truth that for the sake of the path I will use even those who are unable to read.

Osashizu, October 11, 1895

As this Direction indicates, a church head minister is not appointed due to his or her level of learning or education. The main issue is the degree to which the candidate has melted into God the Parent's intention and is in accord with Oyasama's Divine Model. It need not be mentioned that a church head minister's faith and state of mind is of utmost importance. We are also taught in the following manner:

I have granted the truth of a church name to various places. Church, church, a church name. At each church, there is a person who is its core. Understand well. That person should be the first one to understand My heart.

Osashizu, October 31, 1900

If one person goes astray, everyone will go astray. This one person is a leader. If the leader goes astray, everyone else will go astray.

Osashizu, July 15, 1901

A leader can be metaphorically compared to the stem of a wristwatch that winds the watch and also moves its hands. A church head minister, who corresponds to this most important component, represents the core. The above Direction warns that errors in the mind-set of or any missteps by the church head minister will lead everyone else to stray from the path. Thus, it instructs those who are church head ministers to be vigilant in their self-examination and firmly walk the path of single-heartedness with God.