In the same way that everyone in the church is, or ought to be, a worshiper of God, everyone is also a minister of God. Those who lead musical worship aren't putting on a performance or doing all of the worshiping for the congregation. Rather, they are leading the people in a worship response of their own. Likewise, ministers, particularly paid pastors, aren't paid to do all of the church's ministry. Rather, like lead worshipers, their job is to lead (disciple, train, equip) the people as ministers of God.

A common misconception among churchgoers (clergy and laity alike), which may be a reason for so much pastoral burnout, is that the job of pastors mostly has to do with taking care of churchy tasks, especially focusing on Sunday morning execution, and little to do with building up a church of ministers to do the work of God. Why is this, when Scripture is clear that all followers of Christ are ministers?

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy" (1 Pet. 2:9-10).

The people of God are His royal ministers, each and every one of us. So why is it that so many "Christians" (churchgoers) don't see themselves called to be ministers of God?

I think a major reason is that the separation between clergy and laity has gradually become so wide that oftentimes clergymen get exalted far above laypersons in calling, duty, influence, and expectation. We must alter our perception here and understand clergy and laity as equals in the Kingdom of God if we're going to close the gap. Both clergymen and laypersons are followers of Christ and ministers of God. The only difference is clergymen are usually paid, and they're responsible in God's eyes for leading and training laity to minister the gospel to the world.

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ "(Eph. 4:11-12).

Realistically, if it were merely my job as a paid pastor to plan and execute Sunday morning Celebrations, I would work ten to fifteen hours a week and use the freed up budget money to pay my would-be volunteers. If Sunday morning is all there is when it comes to ministry, then churchgoers are right to simply check church attendance off their list every week and expect the paid ministers to do all the work. But that's not my job, and that's not what the church is or what it does. The church is the means by which the gospel will go out to the ends of the earth, not solely through the work of the paid pastors, but through the church, those who are being raised up as ministers of the gospel.

So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places" (Eph. 3:10).

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati