Teaching of Tenrikyo
The term "shinbashira" literally means "central pillar." In the Ofudesaki, this term refers to two concepts: first, to the Shinbashira as the spiritual and administrative leader of Tenrikyo, as in the phrase "the Shinbashira, who is to settle matters within" (III:56); and second, to the Kanrodai, as in the phrase "the central pillar of God, who began this world" (III:118). The chief functions of the Shinbashira as the spiritual and administrative leader are to officiate at religious rites, bestow the Sazuke, and grant divine sanction for various church affairs. It is also the Shinbashira who has the final authority to decide on matters relating to Tenrikyo doctrine as well as its rituals and ceremonies.
from Yoboku's Guide to Tenrikyo, translated by Tenrikyo Overseas Department