Summary: We are a royal priesthood, but many are afraid to serve. If only we would realize we are all ministers the Church would be more effective.
“We Are A Priesthood”
Around the world there are all sorts of problems that disturb me, but I think the church can make a difference. Around the church are all sorts of problems and I have seen that plainly. You hear of churches that are being led astray by false teaching. For example, there is a book that is popular called Velvet Elvis, by a man named Rob Bell. This book is sweeping across the nation. He says in that book, “
And what happens when one person’s definition of love and another person’s definition of love differ? Who is right? Who is wrong? Who decides who is right and who is wrong? Who decides if whoever made the decision made the right decision? So even a verse as basic as this raises more questions than answers....And that’s because the Bible is open-ended, it has to be interpreted.” (Page 46)
Well, I thought that Peter said, that no set of prophecy originated by the prophet’s own interpretation. And to answer this gentleman’s question about who decides who is right and wrong? God does, in his inspired, inerrant, infallible Word once and for all delivered to the saints.
Why do things like this spread? Why are there so many problems in churches? Why do you hear story after story of false teaching and immorality in both the world and the church? I will tell you why, it is because we that have been consecrated as priests have not done the job like we should.
Often times churches select a group of people and their job is to hire a minister. They tell him that his job is to preach, teach, perform weddings and funerals, visit hospitals, visit the members, counsel people, evangelize the community, study God’s Word, and pray. The people evaluate the minister by how they feel he lived up to those expectations. This is the way most churches operate today and sadly, this philosophy does not have one bit of Biblical support. The congregation many times would rather hire someone to do “ministry” and serve as the “clergy” than do the work themselves. They expect them to straighten things out. So while that takes place they sit back and observe, while their own gifts and talents begin to slowly die from lack of use. I have learned that we have certain expectations of certain people according to what their job is. We expect doctors to make us well again when we are sick, not to teach us how to make ourselves well. We want lawyers to give us legal advice, not to teach us how to do it ourselves. We want waiters to serve us, not show us where to get it, and many people want their preachers to do it for them and not train and equip people to do it for themselves. I as the “minister” of any congregation would not be doing any good for a congregation by doing it for people because I cannot intercede for people. I cannot make people right with God. I cannot repent of sin for people. I cannot take another’s place in serving the living God. A minister is not doing any favors being a hireling and doing it all for a congregation, rather a minister that wants the people in the congregation to be involved has the Kingdom as a priority and not just his job. Yes, I could do everything there is to do in the church, and some people expect the preacher to do everything. Some people expect the preacher to be in the office 24 hours a day, visit the sick and visit people’s home, and still have a strong family life. Well, the church is not honoring God by having one guy doing it all, even if he is doing the right things in the right way. I may serve as minister of the church, but I am no more a minister in the church than the elders who shepherd the flock, than the one’s who teach Sunday school classes, than the one’s who sit in the nursery, than the ones who clean the church building, than the ones that visit the sick and the elderly. We are all priests, we are all ministers serving a holy God. God’s plan for the church is for everyone to be involved in the ministry. I as an evangelist am not the “minister” I am a minister along with the congregation that I serve with.
We live in a world where people are consumer driven. They want to get something out of everything. This mindset carries over to the church. People come to church because they want something out of it and they never want to put anything in themselves. They like the idea of getting their fix, or eating and running. If people don’t get told what they want to hear when they want to hear it, if people don’t get the fix they need, if the preacher doesn’t fix their kids, fix their spouse and fix their problems they will just go down the street to another church. This is the consumer mindset of many Christians. I really do not think that you can have a God-honoring church with a congregation full of people that want to only take and never give back. I think that it is time that Christians took of their bibs and put on their aprons and began to serve God, we are a royal priesthood.