Saturday, March 30, 2019

The age of the laity?

Our era has been called “the age of the laity”, and indeed, recent decades have seen an increase in the appreciation of the laity’s contribution to the body of Christ. Yet much remains to be done. Through Baptism the laity are full members of the bod of Christ, with rights and responsibilities in their lay vocation. But to often, ordination to the clerical state is the source of power in the church, and lay people function at the SERVICE OF, or in ANSWER TO, priests - a situation which clearly needs to change.
St Francis and the Foolishness of God (p56 c1993)

Written as a reflection on the gospel centred communities formed by St Francis a millennia ago. So in 1993 and even more so in our leadership obsessed church of 2019, this old Saint has something to teach me. Unfortunately, even recently I have succumbed to practice that has created a gap between what he would have called clergy and laity. 

I need to think of my vocation as much more equipping the “saints” than leading the “saints”.

“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,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Paul Bunch said...

Only problem with laity is it isn't a Kingdom concept. To admit to having laity means acceptance of clergy, which isn't biblical either. Messiah said it shouldn't be that way with us, but that we should each be servants of each other, not having position or lording it one over another. So you've hit the nail on the head, Bill, as has St Francis. You are a pastor to me and I am a pastor to you (or whatever we have been gifted for) "Leading" may be a regular function of your service, but traditional deferrence has no place in our brotherhood. Sweet, eh? 8-)

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