I was reading something the other day that talked about how many lay people were involved in a particular ministry and vision. It was a good thing. I guess I should have read it and just been excited and I was excited about what God is doing in the story it was telling, but I wasn’t excited about a word. I guess I have a tendency to be choosy about words.
Maybe I’m weird like that… But here’s my thoughts for you to take as you’d like…
I do NOT like the phrase lay people/layman/laity. They are words that make me want to hit something because I see them/hear them and I see a line drawn in the sand with a “chosen few” on one side and the rest of the “regular folk” on the other side and I just don’t think God designed it that way. We’re all priests. We are all called. We all have a mission. So when I see those words I see problems. I see people in ministry dealing with pride (and I feel qualified to say this because I’ve been that person with pride). I see people who have a job that is not ministry related with excuses thinking that they’re not good enough or holy enough or chosen enough to be who God tells ALL of us to be – salt and light, disciple makers, strategically placed in different positions to impact our world for HIS glory. (Again, I feel qualified to say this because I have also held onto those excuses!)
Today I was reading something that talked about Martin Luther and his struggle against the corruption of the church of his day. There was a lot of sad stuff going on. I’m pretty sure he wanted to hit something so he decided to fight, but he did not fight to abolish the priesthood, but rather to abolish the laity. THAT made me want to give Martin Luther a high five.
Maybe I am riled up about a little bitty thing/word. I don’t know. I guess there’s nothing inherently wrong with the word. So, I’m not saying I’m right and that if you use the word you’re wrong. I’m just saying… I think we need to make more effort of breaking down the separation/hierarchy of faith. My dad, who was a “minister” was no better than your dad who was a ______. I am not better/more holy/more faithful than you because I currently live overseas. We are ALL in this together. The pastor of the biggest church in town is not more important than the pastor of the smallest church in town, nor vice versa… and the dude who moves to Africa and lives in a hut is not more important than the dude who goes surfing every Saturday morning, nor vice versa. If we love Jesus, we love Jesus and we can and SHOULD live for Him equally well and passionately to impact the nations for His glory.
P.S. I am not a violent person. I’ve never hit anyone… punched anyone in the face… or kicked them in the leg. I’m all talk I guess. Or saying I would like to do those things is my odd way of saying, “This really frustrates me!”