Church Not For Me But Through Me
[Priesthood of All Believers]
Many of us have looked at church as a religious organization that is here to meet my spiritual and religious needs. Yes, we’ve volunteered and given our resources and time. But, it was always about me — meeting my needs and what I’m getting out of it. We’ve loved some churches for providing what we needed, and criticized others for not meeting our needs. To our pastors and perhaps even to God, we’ve asked, “what have you done for me lately?”
So, a group of us began to ask: what if churches were not so much about meeting my needs; what if we stopped church-shopping; what if we stopped looking at pastors as professional clergy giving us what we needed from God; what if churches were not really for me but through me? Perhaps we won’t go to church on Sundays just to feel good about hearing a great message and good music. Perhaps, we won’t ask our pastors to do for us what the Bible says we ought to do for ourselves. Perhaps, we will be more interested in serving others than being served. Perhaps, we can finally experience and live out the amazing New Testament truth of "priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:4-10)”.
What this means at ACC now:
Peter is an ordained minister who also works in the marketplace as a hospice chaplain. After serving several churches as a full-time minister, he answered the call to explore the possibility of serving God as a bi-vocational pastor. Under this new model for his life, he is striving to create a new framework for building a church of the priesthood of all believers. On this new path, Peter has experienced the freedom of focusing on the church ministry that he feels called to. He has also experienced the joy of witnessing his church members come to understand and embrace this new approach of being a church together. Peter preaches one Sunday a month. Other Sundays are filled with bible studies or prayer meetings led by other leaders of the church, including meeting at homes once a month (see "house church")