7:17 PM Today in Greek class we went on yet another rabbit trail, this time along the path of ecclesiology. Church structures must be participational rather than representative, I told my students. My excuse to bring up this topic? A very good one indeed. The vocabulary to today’s lesson included the adjective hekastos, which, as everyone knows, is one of the my all-time favorite New Testament Greek words — so much so that I even invented a new word in the English language in its honor (see my book The Jesus Paradigm for a reference to the doctrine I call Hekastology).
My point was simply this: If we order our churches in a New Testament way, rather than in a purely traditional way, growth toward maturity will be more participational, and church gatherings will be far less characterized by spectatorism. The professional model of ministry says, “If something needs to get done, let’s hire a professional to do it” and “let only those who do it best do it all the time.” As a result, only the “best” teachers teach, and only the most “proficient” musicians sing or play an instrument. A participational structure, on the other hand, creates opportunities for as many people as possible, within reason of course.
I didn’t say this in class, but I for one sure am glad I grew up in a church in Hawaii that let little old moi play a trumpet solo or sing a song I had composed (accompanying myself on the guitar) or “preach a sermon” even when I was far from proficient in any of these areas. I think I am a better Christian for it — though I wouldn’t bet on it.