The Pastor – Chapter 7, The All-Body Ministry

What is meant by “the priesthood of believers?” Does the Bible show “the pastor” as being the ruler of all that goes on within the local church? SolaHere’s a note from the author on this chapter:

As we have seen, church rule and care has been ruined, twisted into a monstrosity. In tandem – the one feeding off the other – the priesthood of all believers has been allowed to dwindle into practical neglect, so that it has become the poor relation of the Christian religion, rarely discussed, let alone thought about, least of all acted upon. And for those who do have some concept of it, too frequently they think of it as an individual thing, a personal thing – I can go directly to God for my self. A wonderful truth, of course, but one that fails to exhaust the breadth and depth of meaning of this priesthood.

Chapter 7 is here.

Chapter 6 was posted here.

30 thoughts on “The Pastor – Chapter 7, The All-Body Ministry

  1. Infield promotions came swift and often in WWII. The military had trained it recruits properly to take over the fallen officers duties in an instant. If the lessors are not trained to step up, that army is doomed
    A parents proper duty is to raise their children to no longer need parenting. A parent that insists on spoon feeding their adult children a milk only diet is a sorry parent.
    A proper pastor should have an entire congregation that can open a bible and feed themselves and feed those around them. When any church begins to decline when their pastor steps down then he was a sorry pastor irrespective of his reputation.
    Jesus trained up His replacements. They in turn trained up their replacements. Every pastor should be training up his replacement. A good pastor truly believing in the priesthood of all believers should be training up and equipping a host of lesser teachers and preachers.
    Any pastor that becomes defensive with simple questions or disagreement is not doing his job properly. Even a grade school teacher encourages such engagement. It is how real learning takes place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Pastor – Chapter 8, Conclusion |

  3. As the author points out in this book, there is not title or position of “pastor” in the Bible. We don’t have record of how long the normal Sunday sermons were in the first century church, but Paul preached late into the night one time and a fella fell off his perch and interrupted the preaching. Every local church is shown to have more than one elder who were responsible to YHWH to shepherd the flock He had gathered there. This book makes it clear – most of what passes for church today ain’t found in the Word of God.


  4. violently Manfred,
    Thanks for being so specific. Leaving that aside………….
    We agree that “most of what passes for church today ain’t found in the Word of God”.
    Also note that no head pastor or head elder is named in the greeting of any epistle to the various church.
    How were the latter generations of church Fathers trained for leadership before the invention of seminaries. Were they not discipled in church by their elders, some of whom at the beginning, were discipled by the Apostles?
    I have found only one church in my area of half a million, that is lead by a team of elders of equal rank. They even rotate pulpit/teaching duties regularly. This helps to eliminate the temptation to highly esteem and show favoritism to one man. How so you ask? How many people invite the pastor to a meal in their home but not the elders nor the laity or that weird couple in back row.


  5. nickipicki123 – in the region I live within, there ain’t a single biblically solid church to be found. I was run out of pastoring a small flock by men who thought Billy Graham was their pope. I am in a small Baptist church that turned into a rage against biblical soteriology after a so-called revival. Hated by men for not retreating from the Word.


  6. I am not into propagating the solitary man as “the pastor” in a local church. I think there should be two or more. I told the people at Gowen Baptist that was my view and that I would be looking for a man therein to train up for the role. Couldn’t get that done in 4 weeks.


  7. Manfred, wouldn’t you still have the same issue even if it were multiple elders over a church? Wouldn’t there still be a divide between the “clergy” and the “laity”? I am sorry if I spelled laity wrong. Lol.


  8. nickipicki123 – those problems are possible in every context, because sinful men are involved. There is revealed in the Scripture a position of elder and one of servant; the main focus of the first is prayer and the Word; the main focus of the second is temporal care of God’s people. There is much overlap between these two, as every temporal need has a spiritual foundation.

    Rightly exercised, elders and deacons do not produce a divide within the local church. As you pointed out by the use of quotes, such a classification of “clergy and laymen” is false and should NOT be part of what goes on in the local church.

    That men are sinful does not give us permission to abandon what God has given us, which is some men being called to rightly serve as spiritual leaders in the local church.


  9. That’s true, Manfred. It also seems like that divide happens less when it’s not one guy standing in front of a group preaching all the time. The NT church, it seems, participated in fellowship together without a hierarchy.


  10. Manfred, someone on Facebook just alerted me to this about David Gay. Here is what she said:
    “Never heard of [David Gay] before, so I did some searching. He’s written several books, one of them is titled ‘Grace Not Law!: The Answer To Antinomianism’. All fine and dandy, with the title at least.

    Until you read this:

    ‘We all know that antinomianism is ‘a bad thing’. But what is it? What do antinomians think? What do they do? More important, how can believers be protected against antinomianism? Most Christian teachers, preachers and writers – whether they know it or not – are disciples of John Calvin, and they argue that the way to stop antinomianism is to preach the law, and by ‘the law’, they mean the ten commandments. They preach rules and regulations to try to make believers conform to accepted norms of behaviour. Those who challenge this approach are castigated – and worse – for their pains. Well, David Gay is one who does challenge Calvin’s system. But he doesn’t do it for the fun of it. He is convinced the New Testament has a very different way of sanctification. We should not preach law; we should preach Christ. Believers should not be going to the law; they should be going to Christ.'”

    Just wanted to let you know!


  11. Every man has errors in his theology. Calvin was no exception. What is called Calvinism is the doctrine of salvation (soteriology) which he learned from Augustine who learned it from the Scriptures. Calvin’s views on church and state, the Lord’s Supper, and other things were influenced just as much by his place in history as he was influenced by Augustine.

    David Gay holds to new covenant theology, which is mainly focused on the redemptive historical view of Scripture which see Christ Jesus as the theme. I stand with him on this!

    You can call me Manny, but I would rather you did not 🙂


  12. Augustine’s view on soteriology lines up with is revealed to us in John 1; 3; 6; Ephesians 1 & 2; Romans 1- 9; and myriad other passages. These specific passages are needed in order to rightly interpret those less clear passages that some want to claim as universal atonement or man’s free-will.


  13. Yep, “Manny” reminds us of Sid the Sloth in Ice Age — 🙂

    Ahem, never mind, and on to more serious matters.

    I would definitely lean towards Pastor David Gay’s position of New Covenant Theology. Fred Zaspel has some great articles on this that I would recommend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Augustine’s view on soteriology lines up with is revealed to us in John 1; 3; 6; Ephesians 1 & 2; Romans 1- 9; and myriad other passages. These specific passages are needed in order to rightly interpret those less clear passages that some want to claim as universal atonement or man’s…(libertarian)… free-will.

    Matt Slick of CARM likes to illustrate it this way. On his way to make a mortgage payment a man is knocked unconscious. While unconscious for an extended period another man comes forward and pays off the mortgage in full. the man awakes not knowing what has taken place. He goes to the bank who refuses his payment. The banker explains that he received and accepted the payment in full. The man owes nothing and he cannot undue was has been done for him, irrespective of his personal approval permission or acceptance.
    He cannot be punished for failure to make payment on a debt that no longer exists.
    Who received Christ payment for our debts? Neither can He punish any for a debt that Christ has already paid in full, it is no more.
    If the debt for sin has been paid for the whole world then the whole world is saved. The whole world is not saved. Therefor the debt must have been paid for only the elect.
    “Who so ever” is better translated “the believing ones”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Manfred, I have a question for you.

    Does a dyslexic agnostic insomniac lay awake at night wondering if there is a dog?


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