Ray Stedman Corrects Lording and Professional Ministry

What if ministers ceased training believers for fulfilling the minister’s “vision” (ex. church growth and mission models, “organizational health” and formal academic credentialing as the primary means of ministerial training). Instead, what if these leaders trained believers to hear directly from God what is the ministry to which He calls them, being mindful of the gift in each and the life situation and story of each, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24:

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

The late Ray Stedman writes:

The new covenant church has but one Head, the living Lord Jesus Christ. All its members including the leadership take their direction from that one Head. The supremacy of Christ as Head of his body — his church — must remain its consistent bedrock truth and focus. There is no biblical basis for stardom for any of God’s people….

The biblical church is a living organism, in contrast to an organization or an institution. This disallows the traditional clergy-laity division, and instead yokes us together in his service. Eph 4:11-16 teaches that the Spirit gifts particular members of the body of Christ as leaders, to train and equip the entire body for the ministry Christ gives us. This forms the basis for what we experience as “body life.” (https://www.raystedman.org/authentic-christianity, bold mine)

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