Sunday, October 16, 2011

Annual Laity Sunday

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose.... For we are God’s servants, working together.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

Too often today people tend to have the misconception that churches pay their pastor to “do” ministry while those in the congregation (the “laity”) are the “recipients” of that ministry. But biblically, ALL Christians are ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and consequently ALL Christians are to be “doing” ministry in the world. The role of the pastor/clergy is merely to equip and resource the laity for that ministry. In a sense, baptism itself is the “ordination” of EVERY Christian to “be” in ministry.

Perhaps that’s why, from the earliest days of the church, Christian ministry has always been seen as a close and intimate partnership between the ordained clergy and the laity. After all, the Bible teaches that a local congregation should be built around the people of God, NOT around the pastor -- I may be your “pastor,” but each of you are the “ministers” of East Cobb United Methodist Church.

To help us remember this truth, each year our church celebrates Laity Sunday, in which the worship services are led by lay people under the direction of our church Lay Leader Michael Lassiter and Associate Lay Leader Lisa Haman. If you’re reading this on Laity Sunday, please join me in welcoming all the participants in our services on this special day. If you’re reading this after that day, I’m confident that God has already blessed those who heard and experienced Him through these, His servants as we “work together” (Paul’s words in the scripture above) for the work of His church. Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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