Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Don't Just Sit There
Assumptions can be an interesting thing. They often can lead to bad things. The problem is that everyone walking has them. But what happens when an entire group of people hold the same wrong assumption? The Church in America has an assumption about how it ought to function. The primary idea is that the pastor, not the people, must do the work of the ministry. Aubrey Malphurs, professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary writes concerning this false model: You can trace this false model back to Roman Catholicism where the priest (clergy) was responsible for ministering to the people (laity). In the Protestant Church, this view has also been prevalent. First, because the pastor is the one who has been trained for ministry. Second, God has called the pastor to the ministry. Third, pastors are ordained. Fourth, (you guessed it) pastors are paid to do the work of the ministry. Although you may have read through the above paragraph and thought that those were compelling reasons for the pastor to be the primary caregiver for the church. We have to go deeper than man's reasoning and enter the Holy Scriptures. Ephesians 4:11-13 states, "Pastors are called to equip the body to do the work of the ministry." In other words, one of the central roles of the clergy is to "equip their congregation" so that they can minister. Think about how genius this is if the Church would just follow this pattern. Clergy-centered ministries focuses on one person doing all the work. How much work can be done excellent if one person is juggling everything in the church? This view teaches that a pastor should be "jack of all trades and master of none." It puts no emphasis on what Paul teaches and just shifts focus off the layperson and onto the minister. This view is radically UNbiblical. The Biblical approach, which is congregational-centered, teaches that YOU are the minister right where God has planted you. Now instead of one person attempting Swiss-cheese ministry, trying to fill in all the holes left by appathy, each person is using their God given unique talents and gifts. This view is radically Biblical. See Parable of the Talents, Exodus 31: 1-5, I Cor. 12...) I tell my youth all the time that they are the one's rubbing shoulders with their friends at school and at work. Reality is, no one will spend more time with those who need Christ more than you -the congregation.