For those of you familiar with the old John3Thirty site I hope you enjoy the new interface and format. Over the last few months, I have done some soul searching for what God would have me do with this site? Over the last 18 years of my life studying and teaching the Bible, my calling from day-one was to dispel the concept of laity. By laity I mean those in the church taught to sit back while the clergy take charge of ministry. Most feel little responsibility to study the Word and reach the world, so long as they put enough in the plate to pay the pastor to do these things.
The separation between clergy and laity is a nonscriptural accretion that was added to the church in an abortive effort to rid it of heresy. It was imagined that if all church powers were in the hands of the most trained members of the church then mistaken interpretations could be stamped out. Instead the Church was crippled by centuries of heresy sponsored and taught by clerics held above the reproach of the people.
If you see yourself as a layman you your eyes opened. As a believer in Jesus Christ you are a minister. My favorite passage on this subject is Ephesians 4:11-13:
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Jesus gave certain gifted people to the church for a specific purpose: to “prepare God’s people for works of service.” This is better translated as “ prepare God’s people for works of the ministry.” If you are saved, you are ordained to serve God as a minister. It is the job of the so-called clergy to equip you to do this.
For too long ministry has been horded by a professional minority. According to scripture minister is synonymous with believer. For those professionals in the church, I offer the following challenge. We would love to see our churches united, mature and faithfully demonstrating Christ to a lost world. According to this passage, this is possible, but only if you step out of the way and let your people be ministers. Teach them how to do it and then cut them loose.
Tor those who prefer the lack of responsibility being a layman entails, if you want to see the world changed you must exercise the ordination that God has placed upon you. Those who taught you to limit yourself to sitting in the pew, dropping money in the basket and staying awake for the sermon are responsible for their bad teaching; however, you are responsible to find and act upon the truth. You are ordained as a minister of Jesus Christ and will be held responsible for your service to your master. Stop warming a pew, step out and set the world on fire!