Standing on Formality… or Not

I’m catching up on all the blog posts that I didn’t read during the holiday season. Scot McKnight, as usual, has had some really interesting ones. One in particular caught my attention and I want to touch on it. Scot was complaining that there isn’t enought reverence in the pastoral office in many churches today. You can read Scot’s post here

As much as I respect Scot, I have to disagree with him on this one. I agree that those that have the privilege of serving God in the roll of pastor should acknowledge that privilege. It is, however, vitally important that pastors work diligently to break down the clergy/laity divide. Standing on the formality of the pastoral office leads to the misnomer that there is such a thing a professional Christ-follower. That, of course, is ridiculous. Those that God has called to vocational ministry have a special role in the church but they are no better nor more important than those called to serve represent Christ in government, academia, or the secular marketplace.

Scot’s illustration at the end of his post, in my opinion, supports my point. The taxi driver is guilty of believing the myth that there are people that are vocationally closer to God and therefore can talk to God more directly. There is nothing that Scot could say or do to help that man that any other Christ-follower couldn’t say or do. Those of us that are ministry professionals need to focus on the preisthood of believers and not on professional clergy. I think reducing formality is an importat part of this.