"Government is indispensable for the church as a gathering of believers. Just as a temple calls for an architect, a field a sower, a vineyard a keeper, a net a fisherman, a flock a shepherd, a body a head, a family a father, a kingdom a king, so also the church is unthinkable without an authority that sustains, guides, cares for, and protects it.
"In a sense even more special than is the case in the political realm, this authority rests with God, who is not only the Creator of all things but also the Savior of the church. As people of God, the church, under the new covenant as well as under the old, is a theocracy. The Lord is its judge, lawgiver, and king (Isa. 33:22). But just as in the civil realm God has granted sovereignty to the government, so in the church he has appointed Christ to be king. Already designated mediator from eternity, Christ carried out his prophetic, priestly, and kingly office from the time of paradise, continued it in the days of the Old Testament and during his sojourn on earth, and now fulfills it in heaven, where he is seated at the Father's right hand.
"And this activity of Christ does not presuppose the existence of the church--except as conceived and willed in God's eternal counsel-- but precedes and produces it. The church is built upon Christ like a temple upon a rock, and is born like a body from him as the head. Here the king exists prior to his people."
~ Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, IV:329.