a church of people!

So the Bible doesn’t use the term “lay” person.  But it does use a word that kind of sounds like it: LaosLaos is a Greek word which means people.  The Laos of God are the People of God.  The Laos are those who are following after him and being chiseled to serve God and to serve others.

One of the reasons I came to Brentview in Calgary is because I saw in the Lead Pastor a guy who got under people and lifted them up.  He truly believes that the Laos, the people, of the church are precious living gems.  His greatest joy is seeing the people of this church show God to others.  His dream is that everyone in this congregation would be pulsating with ministry in their veins.  Last week at the end of his sermon he challenged all of us to try to minister to others because that’s what God has wired us to do.  I also came to Brentview because I see in this church a desire not to have super pastors… but to have pastors who do super job helping equip the laos of this church to do super ministry so that this city can be super changed by the life-giving message of Jesus.

Mike Breaux, a teaching pastor at Willow Creek in Chicago, said that “when Jesus arrives on the scene, the religious culture” where there was a big separation between priests and congregation, gets all juggled around…. Jesus would look at crowds and just say stuff like, ‘You- yes, I’m talking to you.  You are the light of the world.’  He would look at them and say, ‘You- yes you- were called to love your neighbor as yourself and love your enemies also.  He would say to everyone, “You- yes, all of you- will be my witnesses.”

If you open up to the book of 1 Peter you’ll find a book which teaches us how to be people that give up our superiority-complex so that we can serve together as one unit for the sake of the world.  So this is not left up just to a super pastor, nor just to a super member.  This is everybody.  Each of us is to be engaged in ministry as ministers. That’s how it’s supposed to be.  It’s that simple.  Being changed by God’s kindness and changing others by his kindness is the way we should all live.  That means you, the person next to you, the person next to them and in front of you and behind you and over here and over there and up here- A church is a symphony of ministry where Jesus is the conductor and each of us has a wonderful part to play.

6 Comments

  1. Ken this was a wonderful message and I am sending it to the BeFriender group at our church. We need to “hear” your words so that we will continue to be encouraged to serve the people within our church and community who need to be ministered to as an outreach of the pastoral staff.

  2. Actually, perhaps more helpful, this metaphor. We have this incredible surplus of resources stored up in huge barns. We take out ten percent at a time and put them to work in this needy world. What if God engineered an event that would suddenly put 50%.. or 60%.. to work? Would we even know how to respond? This video.. http://blip.tv/file/855937/

  3. It’s as if we start with difference rather than similarity, and after a while we forget that the most fundamental truth is that we are all called to serve Jesus.. but in different ways, whether as ears or eyes, hands or feet. And all the books on leadership have had a similar effect, that even we leaders start to think, that wow.. lets sing, “Its all about me, its not about You…” And then we wonder why only about 10% of the body is really engaged. Thank God he is rearranging our domes on this. As Cosby (not Bill) put writing on “ordination to daily life,”
    “The ordination of a lay person to a ministry in the world is much more than the recognition of significant activity. It means that the person knows him or herself to be grasped by God for a task that only they can do, and which the church must have done. Ordination means that the person’s sense of call is confirmed by their own community. The world is a big place and its structures are tough to penetrate. It is good for the nonprofessional minister to discover specifically where he is to exercise his obedience.”

  4. I can agree with you that the role of every person in the church is to be a minister of the Gospel of Christ for the world, but there are people who are called out to special ministry of the people of the Gospel, which is the role of the pastor/priest/whatever. In that sense there are people who have upheld that duty to an honorable and ingenius degree which makes me proud to call them mentor/father/whatever. Do you know what I mean? There are people who are different from every other pew sitter because they are to help the pew-sitters in their decisions and walks with Christ and some of those people have modeled Christ so well that I have been moved. So yes, I agree that it may be time for a change, but God still uses our broken systems if we are willing to let Him run them.

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