A year or so ago one of NZ's top surgeons came to speak at Carey Baptist College. A staunch and thoughtful Christian, he was asked by the interviewer at one stage, "what is it that future church leaders in this room can do to support people like you in their work?" He looked genuinely shocked by the question, "I have always felt that pastors were far more intereted in how I could support their ministry than in helping me in mine."
I preached an experimental message yesterday evening on Eph 4:1-14. It was a pretty simple message really, that Jesus has given apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers to the church to edify the church to do God's work in the world. Or put another way, it is not the job of the church to support the ministry of the pastors, but the job of the pastors to support the ministry of the church. It is not the minister, or the youth pastor, or whoever else happens to be on stage on a Sunday meeting that is the cutting edge of the church, it is everyone else, those who spend their days at work, in school, or making home in the neighbourhood. Beyond this basic attitudinal shift what can we do to reorient church away from the ministry of those upfront on Sunday towards the ministry of everyone's everyday lives?
Let me know what you think :-)