The Priesthood Part III: Releasing the Priesthood
Nowhere in the New Testament is the issue of “a priest” addressed except for Jesus as our High Priest; it only refers to “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God”. The Body of Christ, His Church, is that royal priesthood, that holy nation, that people of God. The “priesthood” is not individualistic, but corporate, for God wants “His people” to draw near to Him corporately through intimacy, worship, and service.
So when that Body of Christ gathers, God wants to be in the midst of his people. It is a special time for God to work through His people, His priesthood, to His people, His priesthood. This is such a different mindset than the one we practice today where we are taught the trickle effect: God works through his clergy, or staff, to his laity, his people, and it should effect the way we celebrate corporate worship when we gather.
I believe worship is just “giving back to the Lord what He has already given you,” so the gathering of the priesthood should be a time when the priesthood gives back. If during the week the individual believer has been reading the Word, the Bible, daily and allowed the Holy Spirit to teach him its truths, and that written word has become a living, vibrant, active word in their life, why shouldn’t he be allowed to share the living active truth that he has learned and experienced amongst the people of God? How dynamic and “intimate” would that “worship service” be if he were allowed?
We “script” our worship services instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them. Scripted services are “safe” because we are in control of them. Allowing the Holy Spirit to move among His priesthood, allowing his priesthood to speak His written Logos Word, the Bible, to share His living Rhema Word, and to minister that Logos and Rhema Word to one another is scary or threatening to most of today’s church leadership, for they have to give up control for that to happen.
The question is, “Who is in control”?
If we believe in a “royal priesthood of believers”, then we need to let them function as “priests” for the good of the “priesthood”, the “Body of Christ”. Let the “priests” be accountable to God to be prepared for an “intimate worship service.” Or we can just “script” the service, print it in a bulletin or handout, make everyone aware of the planned order of worship that they are "expected" to follow, having the “staff” share, teach, and “lead worship” while the “priesthood” remains pew or chair dwellers singing the “scripted” songs and listening to the “scripted message” (and of course all the “announcements” the staff deems important), and is only allowed to give through tithing which will support the “professional staff” for all their efforts “ministering”.
Are we going to continue to play it safe, or should we release this priesthood that already exists in every church to “minister” unto the Lord and to His people. It is a different mindset, for releasing is never safe, but the releasing of this priesthood will produce profound results.