A Biblical Model of the People of God: Overcoming The Clergy/Laity Dichotomy

From: Volume 6, Issue 2: Fall 2009, Leadership for Church Ministry Pages 214-228


The paper explores the theological and historical relationship between clergy and laity to see if a justification exists for a clergy/laity dichotomy. The paper also explores the intent of Reformation theology and traces the development of the clergy/laity dichotomy's impact on the church today. The paper addresses the following questions: Where and with whom does authority rest? What distinguishes clergy leadership from lay leadership? What was Luther's intent in the "priesthood of all believers"? What are the effects of clergy professionalism and theological training of the laity? The paper argues that the biblical perspective of the "people of God" provides a framework to minimize the dichotomy and to move toward a more shared approach to leadership.



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