When God’s people come together, we are all important and we all have work to do. Each one of us is a royal priest. The priesthood of every believer was lost to Catholic doctrine. The priests controlled the church and all the work of the church was done by the priests. They were viewed as the only ones able to do God’s work. The members just “showed up” and enjoyed the show—so to speak.
The Reformation changed all that. One of the major themes of reform was that every Christian was a priest of God and should be involved in God’s work. Everyone was called to rally under the banner of the cross. It didn’t matter what sort of labor you were involved in, that work was to be for God. When it came to the church and its work, the separation between the professionals and the people was torn down. Now everyone could participate in the church. In fact, everyone was expected to participate in the life of the church.
This wasn’t just a Reformation doctrine. It is a Bible doctrine. Every Christian is a priest serving under Jesus—the High Priest. Sadly, we often go back to having a professional priesthood.
You will probably recognize some of these emotions.
I can’t wait till we get new leaders. Then everything will be good.
If only they would have done it this way, then it would be ok.
Well, I can’t do anything about it. I’m not an elder.
Well, nobody cares what I think.
Well, I could have told you that was a bad idea.
We have all felt and said those things. You know what they reveal? Those emotions point to either an abusive leadership or an absent membership.
So many of these types of problems can be governed by an active, invested, heard, and submissive church membership.
This involved church membership is what happens when church members recognize that we are all priests entrusted with God’s service in our local congregation.