Quakers/Friends have, inherent in their philosophy, a high regard for the ministry of every believer. So it is with that perspective that I read recently on a pastor's blog that we (Evangelicals in general) have built churches around the pastoral gift, to the exclusion of other critical spiritual gifts, and in the process institutionalized the church and kept it from being a gospel movement?
He writes, "Explanation. The pastor cares for, teaches, feeds and loves the body of Jesus Christ. This is a good thing, I do it for a living! But, the gifts that challenge (prophet) and spread the gospel (apostle) have been, by and large, relegated to the sidelines. Truthfully, many of us don’t even know what those gifts are for today.
The result is a church in America where people think of the church as the place where they get their needs met, a place where they are fed. Church membership becomes about what we get, as opposed to a covenant we make with one another to live out the gospel in our local context. To borrow a phrase, “we are a dispenser of religious goods and services” for consumer Christians."
So I wonder, do you think we, as Friends, are exempt from this? Why or why not?