The 21st Century Retooling of the Church – Part XXXXVI
I recently heard the fact that only 10% of those attending church do 100% of the work done by the laity, and that does not count the work done by the staff. That kind of data shows that the church is not practicing the Ephesians 4 principle of “preparing the saints for the work of the service.” For whatever reason, churches have opted to “prepare the ‘staff’ for the work of the service” because either the saints won’t do it, or aren’t allowed to do it!
If Sunday mornings are any reflection of those statistics, when attending almost any church service, live or streamed over the internet, it is the worship team and pastor who preaches who are the focus of the service, not the those in the congregation. The worship leader and pastor carry the program. The offertory and giving offering is about 10% of the program.
I guess the central questions is how the church is to “prepare the saints” and for “what service”? It is quite the challenge. Does the Church want to face that challenge? If so, it would take quite a “retooling” of how one does “Sunday services”, how one “trains, equips, or prepares” those attending their church, and defining what “services” they may or may not do. Change demands new mindset! Retooling demands drastically new mindsets!
I remember once being told by a clergy that they were on the only ones who could perform the sacrament of communion. I couldn’t believe that if I had Christian friends over to my house and decided to have communion with them that it would be frowned upon by the church. The first question asked may be what is church going to allow the saints to do. The second questions asked may be what are the saints willing to do? Before those two questions are answered, it would be hard to determine the “preparations” and defining the “service”.
As long as there is a clergy/laity faction, it will be hard to determine a “team” effort that a five fold ministry would require of developing giftings and passions with in the laity, releasing them, and then supporting them. The “laying down of one’s life” cannot be effective with different distinctions of “position”. It must be a team of equality; the giving and taking of each one as equals even though their passions and points of view differing.
So if we are to get a larger percent of those attending church to do a majority of the “work of the service”, the Church faces a drastic retooling process, or accept the status quo of the same old, same old. Are we, the Church, to take Ephesians 4 seriously? Then we need to address serious “retooling” of how we do “church”!