But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses. And you have said, “No, set a king over us.” 1 Samuel 10:19
As far as God was concerned, getting a king was a step backwards, not forwards, for Israel. God wanted a direct relationship with His people. He wanted to be their King. He wanted to be their Savior—that is, the one who rescued them when they were in trouble.
God still wants a direct relationship with His people. He doesn’t want our spiritual lives to be funneled through the pastor, the worship leader, or some other Christian “king.” He wants us to go to Him, to look to Him, to relate directly to Him.
Don’t get me wrong. Leaders have their place, and worship services have their place. But they were never meant to be a substitute for God.