“Every Member Ministry” or the Doctrine of Vocation
Is every Christian a “minister,” and does every Christian have a “ministry”? Or, does every Christian have a “vocation” (calling), and thus a responsibility to pursue his/her calling? Is the believer who works in “full time Christian service” more “sold out for Jesus” than the believer who works in a secular vocation? Does the Christian’s involvement in secular work somehow need to be “Christianized” (for example, “witnessing” to co-workers during the lunch hour, having a Bible and Christian trinkets on one’s office desk, etc.)?
Over at the “Heidelblog,” Dr. R.S. Clark has written an interesting and (in my opinion) helpful article on this popular evangelical concept of “every member ministry.” Clark writes: “The uniqueness and centrality of the official preaching of the Word is diminished when we equivocate between the official, public, ordained administration of the Word and the unofficial witness to the gospel by the laity. The tendency among evangelical is to describe all those acts as “preaching.” This move is part of the democratic, populist spirit of modern spirit of evangelicalism. When I say I “modern” I don’t mean last week. Nathan Hatch has shown that, in American evangelicalism this has been the dominant pattern since the 1820s. Arguably, that pattern has roots in the so-called “First Great Awakening” almost a century before that…”
To read more, go here: http://heidelblog.net/2013/06/ministers-all/