Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Right Roles of "Clergy" and "Laity"

“He has called some to be “player-coaches” (to use Elton Trueblood’s term) to equip the laity for the ministry they are to fulfill. This equipping ministry is of unique importance. One is appointed to this ministry by the Holy Spirit, therefore it is to be taken with utmost seriousness.
This is a radical departure from the traditional understanding of the roles of the laity and the clergy. The laity had the idea that they were already committed to a “full-time” vocation in the secular world, thus they did not have time—at least much time—to do God’s work. Therefore they contributed money to “free” the clergy to have the time needed to fulfill God’s ministry. This view is rank heresy. If we follow this pattern, we may continue to do God’s work until the Lord comes again and never fulfill God’s purpose as it ought to be done.
At the present time many people are seeking new ways to prop up sagging organizations. We search for new gimmicks, new promotional schemes, new approaches to make the work of the church more effective. Undoubtedly we do need new approaches. But we will never be effective in doing the work of God until his people come to understand their call and commit themselves with joyful abandon to fulfilling that call. No organizational approach nor promotional scheme can take the place of this basic need! We have been relying upon the wrong people to do the work of the ministry. God has called his people to be his ministers. His people must understand, accept, become equipped for, and fulfill this call!” [Findley B. Edge, The Greening of the Church (Waco, TX: Word, 1971), 43.]

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