My fear is that we have created a class system in the body of Christ comprised of the "called" and the "not so much called." Nothing could be further from the truth. The ministry assignment of the laypeople is not to simply "lay" around and tell the called what they should be doing. Laypeople are not to be customers of religious goods and services served by the storekeeper clergy. We are all called although our current assignments may vary dramatically.Read the rest.
Jesus said to an ordinary group of people, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21). These were not professionals, with the exception of professional fishermen and a professional tax collector. And if we hope engage and evangelize the world with the gospel, we cannot possibly rely on professionals to do it.
Laypeople often think that this means their job is to pay, pray, get out of the way. To make sure we are not communicating a low, irresponsible view of laypeople one thing is critical. We must create an atmosphere of expectation.
In all of our research on churches, people in transformational churches were taught that they were responsible for the ministry of the church. This was a recurring theme that they perceived, rightfully so, that they were the owners of the ministry.
To do this, we must begin by declaring the two class system of ministry dead-- we may even have to kill it. A new level of ownership must be given to the people of God, and the people of God must embrace what they are given. God's desire is to have a church made up of every day Christians living like missionaries.
The clergy-laity caste system is killing churches and hindering the mission of God. Let's kill it.
Books by Ed Stetzer:
- Planting Missional Churches
- Compelled: Living the Mission of God
- Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation
- Transformational Church: Creating a New Scorecard for Congregations
- Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them
- Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too
- Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community
- Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)