Updated: Nov 14, 2021
One aspect of the breakdown in American Christianity has been the professionalization of Ministry. Like everything else in Western Culture Church has been systematized into a bureaucratic model of efficiency. Like modern medicine that allows the tail to wag the dog all the wrong motivations are at play in many Churches.
The result in culture has been a dumbing down across the board in education, the sciences and religion as well. No wonder Christians are by and large are Biblically illiterate and spiritually immature. Many churches are “Church Lite” requiring no progress in learning of God’s word, no accountability in membership and are built around casual visits/entertainment- coffee, donuts, and chit chat.
From the beginning God’s church has been led by what is now called Laity.
John Piper said the following in his book: Brothers, we are Not Professionals.
“We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and the heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness, there is no professional tenderheartedness, there is no professional panting after God.
Brothers, we are not professionals. We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil. 3:20). You cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed. The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wineskins of professionalism.”
The biblical authors do not reserve the word ministry strictly for those in vocational gospel work or for pastors/priests. Instead, every Christian, that means YOU is involved in the work of ministry. Paul states that clearly in Ephesians 4:11–12:
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.
So, do not let professionals or credentialed Christians carry out the mission of the church on their own. Church leaders are assigned by God to equip church members, not to supplant them. Ministry belongs to all its members.