Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” has written an excellent post called “Where I Differ From Albert Mohler.” In the post, Eric is responding to this statement made by Mohler: “When asked about my hope for the future of the church, I point immediately to the corps of young ministers now entering and preparing for ministry.”
As Eric correctly points out, both he and Mohler are actually placing their hope in God. The question is, “Through whom do we expect God to work?”
After comparing and contrasting his views with Mohler’s, Eric concludes:
Peter makes it clear in his first epistle that God desires and expects his church to be a fully functioning priesthood. We are a body that needs all members functioning in order to be healthy. Our hope for the future of the church is a reformation of the entire body. All parts must embrace this.
This is one of the major disagreements within the church itself. Will the future depend mainly upon the few (the clergy) or everyone (the laity)? How the church in this country answers this question will have a huge impact upon its future.
Now, I’m guessing that Mohler would agree that God works through the entire church, not just certain leaders (i.e., clergy).
However, we must consistently and continuously make sure that we are listening to and paying attention to all of God’s children that he places in our lives, from the youngest to the oldest, from the newest follower to the most mature, from the ones with the least formal education to the ones with the most formal education, etc.
Are we giving different people opportunities to speak and to server, or are we expecting people to always listen to the same person (or group of leaders)? Do we defer to certain people because of office or position? Do we wait for leaders to initiate service opportunities or do we require (or expect) others to serve only within those programs set up by our church organization or leadership?
These kinds of attitudes and practices show whether or not we expect God to work through all of his children or only through certain ones (clergy, for example) – regardless of what we say we believe.
(See my posts “I did NOT expect God to do THAT” and “Why should we let THAT PERSON speak to the church?“)