Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Do class distinctions such as "clergy" or "laity" or in professions where we separate work as being "sacred" or "secular" help or hurt Jesus' process for making disciples?
Additionally, while the "clergy/laity" distinction appears to be embedded and assumed as Biblical, is this class distinction found in the New Testament? Is sectarianism sinful and carnal? (see Mth. 20:25-28; Gal. 3:26-29; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:1-23; 12:1-30)
I think that these distinctions do hurt Jesus' process for making disciples because we put the burden on the "clergy" to make disciples. When we do this we miss opportunites to actually follow Christs' command to "go make disciples"... Matthew 28:19&20 is not optional!
I think this is basically true that we expect clergy to carry the burden of making disciples. But I have to say in my own church, this is better than I have seen before. My church is very large and people like myself who have just joined are taught that the pastors/elders can't possibly do all the work!
Therefore the laity needs to work "with" pastors to help make disciples, bring converts in, etc.
We have a variety of pastors too - some for outreach, some for various age levels, and one Sr Pastor. Our Sr Pastor is truly gifted with preaching - but not as gifted in other areas.
Most people in my church are aware that our Sr Pastor's main gift is teaching, and we really love him for it! He truly has a way with preaching and in reaching/inspiring the congregation. I know I personally love to listen to him from the pulpit and get so much out of his teaching/preaching.
But other pastors do more of the "people" outreach and from the pulpit also we are hearing how we all need to be responsible to do God's work, love one another and disciple others and bring them into the church.
Its a pretty balanced attitude I think - not perfect of course - but fairly healthy I think.
Thanks, Brenda. It's rare to see a church where leadership understands and follows Eph. 4:12-16. Blessings!
To be honest, I felt the same way and its why I joined not long ago! But my church is still imperfect too as they all are - I know, they have me! :)
"Do class distinctions such as "clergy" or "laity" or in professions where we separate work as being "sacred" or "secular" help or hurt Jesus' process for making disciples?" Do we not do that when we select leaders to lead in the church? Do we not do that when we select those who are especially gifted teachers? I would contend that after following ignorance in some churches I have pastored that I have had to do a lot of repair work in getting people to the point where they trusted me to lead them. People tend to remember songs and sermons. They rely a lot on what they read. The problem is when what they are reading or hear being taught is not consistent with what Jesus taught and did in that historical context and they do not understand genuine discipleship. When people interpret what they read in a modern day context they get a picture and message far different than the one Jesus lived and taught in that context. For example when one reads that Jesus disciples were uneducated it would lead one to believe the ignorant could and should lead. The men Jesus selected were Jews who were not uneducated in Hebrew and Greek and a knowledge of scripture. They were educated but were not selected to be a disciple under a rabbi. If one were to consider the fact that Jesus spoke to the Sadducees he only used the Torah, but when He dealt with the Pharisees he used the Old Testament, that ought to teach us how we should share our faith with others rather than a one size fits all approach. Years ago when I was a student in seminary I sat next to a man who worked for IBM and sought to be a better teacher but had no desire to pastor. May we have many more like him who seek to know God' word and make disciples.