At various points in the New Testament, believers are urged to live in imitation of Christ.

‘Imitate me,’ says Paul, ‘as I imitate Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11.1). Those in ministry are specifically called to shepherd the flock, and their pattern for doing so is the Chief Shepherd of the sheep (1 Peter 5.1-5).

The problem comes, however, when imitation gets confused with substitution; when reflecting Christ morphs into replacing Christ. It’s dangerous being a ‘mini-messiah’ – dangerous for us and dangerous for those we try to save. Here are some of the pitfalls.

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