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The Lie of Lay Ministers

Somewhere in church history ministry became exclusive to a few. Ministry became also institutionalized, reserved for the highly educated. No need to even bring the Bible with you, just listen to what the priest is saying; everything he says is of God. Everything the pastor says is of God, after all, they are the “ordained ministers”. They have certain divine powers, they are special… above from everybody else. They are always called by their title, Bishop, Pastor, Apostle, Doctor… Right? This kind of approach to ministry is guilty of keeping God’s people from discovering and using their gifts; it is the reason many in the Body of Christ are way pass due in allowing God to use them.  It is in fact one of many cancers introduced in our churches by Satan himself. 

I have nothing against education, after all, as God’s people, we are all called to study the Word.[1]  But I am totally against exclusivity in ministry. This system keeps people in a prolonged states of waiting to be use by God; it encourages for the call to ministry to be filled with mysticism.[2]   So we find ourselves in this never-ending journey of obtaining special insight in the things of God before doing the things God has call us to do. We forget that we know in part (I Corinthians 13:9) and that God can use us right now, right at this moment. After all, we are all called to be faithful in the little things; we must start somewhere! Jesus tells us in Luke 16:10, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV) 

Ordinations, the way we approach them in church are nowhere to be found in Scripture. This division between the lay and ordain is not of God; it is not in the New Testament. The Apostle Peter have something to say about this when he tells us,

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:2-5 (ESV)

Let’s us look at a few words here. First, let’s look at the word Salvation; this is a terrible translation that is open for great confusion. This word is not encouraging us to grow in our salvation; that is bad doctrine. Paul tells us in Ephesian 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV). Hebrews also tell us of Jesus that “…by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14 (ESV) 

So going back to the word salvation on 2 Peter 2:2, this is the Greek word sōtēría meaning “…Safety, deliverance, preservation from danger or destruction.”[3] Beloved, what we are working on is our issues… our deliverance, learning wisdom to stay away from danger and destruction, praying, listening to God, and making the right decisions. This, my friends, is a process, but it does not disqualify you and me from exercising the call of God for our lives. 

We are in this boat together; helping each other, encouraging each other, praying for each other, sharing spiritual insight, correcting in love, learning together and so on. When the Bible tells us “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Philippians 2:12, is also using the same word sōtēría

Beloved, we all have issues; we all have areas in our lives that needs growth and deliverance. That’s why we need to stop pretending and take off our masks. As we work in our deliverance we can also be used by God. However, if you have been around church leaders who are into ordinations and ordained ministers, generally, if you notice, they lack transparency. That’s because they must continue faking some divine “thing” in them; something that would place them above everybody else.

As I said before, in its simplest form, church is a family. Just like in the natural we have absolutely no control on where we are from, our parents or bloodline; likewise, we are born into the family of God; as a matter of fact, we are born again into that new family.[4] We are not ordained by man, we are ordained by God. How ridiculous it would be if you need man to ordain you as a father, as a son, as a daughter, as a mother, uncle and so on. We are what we are; man, just identify what God did. Same in the church, God makes it obvious through the gifts He bless us with. Those gifts MUST flow freely in the Body of Christ; those gifts become obvious in the family. 

Just as we know a good mechanic in the community, a good carpenter, plumber, doctor, etc. their gifts are obvious; the same should be in the Body of Christ; our gifts should be obvious. However, they will never be obvious without participation. If you just sit quietly Sunday after Sunday who is going to know what you have to gift to the Body? Participation in our gatherings is not my opinion; Paul tells us “…When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” First Corinthians 14:26 (ESV) This free flow of our spiritual gifts is not for our own glory, but for the edification of the Church (First Corinthians 12 and First Corinthians 14)

The disciples of Jesus were common men. and they were used by him inside of three years. The Apostle Paul started preaching immediately after his conversation. Some of you have been Christians for decades without using your gifts in a consistent basis; they always hit you with the “you are not ready excuse.” If you have been in a church more than a year and you are not using your gifts, 1) the church has failed to disciple you and 2) you have failed to obey God. I wish this is a simple thing, but Jesus takes using your gifts very serious. In the Parable of the Talents in tells the servant who did not use his gift, 

And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 25:22-30 (ESV)

Beloved, if you are Born Again, you are a minister… we are all ministers. We have a responsibility to use the gifts that God has giving us for the edification of the Body. There is no such a thing as lay and ordained ministers. Church government should not get on the way of your calling; they should disciple you and get you ready to use your gifts… it is one of the most important responsibilities in the Body of Christ.

[1] “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

[2] “the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (such as intuition or insight)” (

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[4] “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[a]he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (ESV)

2 responses to “The Lie of Lay Ministers”

  1. Comi siempre, we are hearing the same Holy Spirit. I have been meditating the past couple days on the fact that we are all ministers. And we need to each fulfill that ministry so that collectively and individually we present Jesus to this dying world. Good word, mi hermano!

    Sent from my iPhone



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