The Church: Spiritual Hospital or Powerful Priesthood?
I'll be careful on this post. I'm not judging your church, but I would rather inspire our church members. I've heard all of my life that the church is a spiritual hospital and that the "spiritually sick" can come and listen to preaching and good worship music and be "spiritually healed." However, maybe if you have this philosophy in your head and heart it's time to change.
Our America, from coast to coast, is filled with gravestones called "steeples," maybe because we think that a special elixir is made up by the staff or leadership in charge each and every Sunday and that if we attend, we'll be spoon fed and revived throughout the week. Yes, friend - I'm sure when Christ imagined His Church to carry the gospel, he imagined "sick" Christians needing a boost each and every Sunday. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Let me enrich your life with this next phrase: Being part of the Baptist faith means you believe in the "Priesthood of the Believer" (check your church's statement of faith). Cute phrase right? Wrong. There is a rhyme and reason to this statement. 1 Peter 2:9 ought to be a verse you hold onto and memorize and read to yourself daily. If you've received Christ by faith, you are a priest and you've been called to be one part of the body of Christ (His Church).
Okay Josh, I like what I've read so far...are you done? No, because that's only half of the thought. Now that I know that I'm a priest...we need to ask ourselves, "Well, what is my job? What did Priest do?" Now I know in your head you're thinking about Catholic clergy when I use this word but actually if you remember in the Old Testament the priest (Levities) had no inheritance and they had no land. Their sole purpose was to carry the "tent of meeting" (tabernacle). When God stopped in a location, the priest would unpack that tent, drive the nails into the ground, setup the furniture and get ready to carry out the presence of the Lord. The philosophy today is that we should continue to setup the "tent of meeting" and it's our responsibility to set that tent up. That tent is so large though it will require many helping hands! If you're a priest you should set up the presence of the Lord wherever you go and interact with people. It could be at Walmart, the PT meeting, the social clubs you're involved in and especially your church.
A church that understands this responsibility doesn't need to be coaxed and prodded on Sunday to make a difference but worship is powerful, preaching is powerful, response to preaching is powerful, radically giving of time, money and energy is powerful, because each priest showed up to do their individual part and setup the "Tent of Meeting" because God truly wants to meet with us.
Don't get me wrong... I believe in church having great influence to bring a revival of the spirit or bringing someone to consider their eternity through a salvation message, but what these people also ought to find on a Sunday morning is a group of "Priest" so passionate for the Lord that the revival happens because they see it in us! The Holy Spirit power isn't behind the pulpit alone! The Holy Spirit power lives in us, it's called the Holy Spirit and we quench Him when we aren't taking the responsibility serious!
I want to keep this short to not bore the reader, but if you're a worship leader, understand this philosophy and challenge yourself to study and teach those who worship with you about their role not just the current song. I love Sierra View Baptist Church, priest show up and worship and give and love and people are changed.
Consider this song: Psalm 46 - You'll hear how priests call attention of the listener, who is in control, who is leading, who is saving, who is protecting, and it pauses to allow us to hear silence to let us think about HIM!