We attended another  “ministerial fellowship” meeting the other day.

Curious label, “ministerial fellowship.”  When’s the last time you heard an outfit describe itself as a “a non-professional fellowship,”  an “unpaid volunteer fellowship” or a “rank and file fellowship”?

What does this label imply?  Exclusivity?  Elitism?  A divide between those who belong to the “ministerial” fellowship – e.g., the paid professionals, and everyone else, e.g., the second string?

Really?

Is that what “church” is about?

Someone recently opined, “I’m not against leadership.  I just think ‘leadership’ looks more like someone washing other people’s feet than a CEO in a tie.”

When the last time you saw the former in an IC setting?

Interestingly, this same “ministerial fellowship” meets for the purpose of “trying to find ways to be more effective in ministry.”

Is it that mysterious?

How about: Dropping the elitist “‘ole boys club”  mentality. Being inclusive.   Opening your  meetings.  Inviting anyone who’s engaged in ministry to attend and contribute.  Getting rid of the clergy/laity divide.  Embracing the universal priesthood of all believers, where ministry and service are based on gifting and calling, not on an autocratic, top-down pecking order.

How Would It Look?

What would “church” look like then?  How much more “effective” would “ministry” be?   What if every clergy member made it a goal to work him/herself out of a job?  What if “ministry” was something all believers were actively engaged in, rather than watching a few paid professionals operate while they sit on the sidelines and spectate?

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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