Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Steps to renewal?

...surely clericalism as a leadership style is Spirit-quenching.  Clericalism, which on my analysis involves more persons than the ordained, is a sort of conspiracy between leaders and those led: the one party (it does not matter which) says 'all spiritual ministry should be left to the leader,' and the other party says, 'yes, that's right.'  Some leaders embrace clericalism because it gives them power; others, running scared, embrace it because they fear lest folk ministering alongside them should overshadow them, or because they feel incapable of handling an every-member-ministry situation.  But every-member ministry in the body of Christ is the New Testament pattern, and anything which obstructs or restricts it is an obstacle to a renewing visitation from God.  What does this suggest that leaders, and others, ought to do now?...

The first step, perhaps, to the renewal of the Christian people is that leaders should begin to repent of their too-ready acceptance of too-low levels of attainment both in themselves and in those whom they lead, and should learn to pray from their hearts the simple-sounding but totally demanding prayer in Edwin Orr's chorus: 'Send a revival - start the work in me.'
(J.I. Packer in 'Serving the People of God', page 83/84)