More thoughts from Earl & the AG Pastors:
TEACHING – why always the same teacher,
with the same linear style, the same length of time,
at the same time in the service?
can’t we have multiple teachers with multiple styles?
is the teaching the most important part of the service?
don’t get me “ready” for the message.
in scripture, the message from the Lord came first, then the response of worship.
oh yeah, and please do not give me all the answers.
I’d like to do some self discovery and discovery in community.
just put me on a path toward truth.
I am assuming the use of the word teaching here means the Sunday morning message, which some would call preaching. There are distinctions that could be made about teaching and preaching and the role of each in a community gathering.
The clergy/laity model implies that the same person brings the word of the Lord to the community every week. Inherent in that is the mentality that understanding of Scripture is best left to the professionals with a degree. Who knows what sort of chaos and heresy could occur if we allowed the Holy Spirit to be expressed amongst the common folk.
Acts 4:13 shows us that even Peter and John were ordinary guys.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
The following quote is from Len Hjalmarson at Next Reformation.
There are so MANY problems with the professionalization of ministry it’s tough to know where to start. It reinforces the artificial distinction between clergy and laity. It creates a hierarchy of experts and amateurs, disempowering the average person who does not want to compete or be compared to the professional…and subjects us to the cult of excellence.
Remember, the medium is the message. Mark Pierson once wrote, “I’m not against excellence per se, just its elevation to the level of doctrine. In fact I’m really not so much anti-excellence as pro-participation. I reckon participation is what church life should be about. Participation rather than performance, and a pursuit of excellence always, always, ends up being about performance.
If excellence is a primary goal, then the weak, the timid, the depressed, the disabled, the unskilled, the sick, the introverted, the overweight, the less attractive, the poor and the untalented aren’t going to get a look in. They’ll be relegated to being spectators for someone else’s performance.
Professionalism makes ministry about technique and knowledge, where it is actually about love, service and transformation. Finally, professionalism SUBVERTS the gospel by neglecting the foundational truth that the way UP is DOWN.