There have been some very thoughtful comments lately on The Lead as we think about the future of the church. In addition to sincerely thanking those who have taken the time to read and respond, we thought it might be informative to look closely at some of the comments.
In the post
This led to this comment by Tom Sramek, Jr. (who writes “bloggingpriest“):
We pay clergy to do a substantial number of things that could easily be done by a (likely less expensive or volunteer) lay person. There’s administration (finance, etc…) up the wazoo, for example. There are property issues (Do you really need a priest to fix a toilet?). There are all kinds of things that fall more into the category of “business owner” than priest. If you get some time freed up in a priest’s schedule, then what do you want him or her to do with that? Thinking a little more creatively in this area might help. I’ve heard that one essentially needs clergy for the ABCs–Absolve (people of their sins), Bless (in God’s name), and Consecrate (elements for communion). What if we reinterpreted that to see pastoral care as the absolving part (not that laity can’t do it, but sometimes the collar is helpful), enabling ministry by motivated and excited laity as the blessing part (bless a program, initiative, or person and see what happens), and our worship (word and table) as the consecrating part? Anything that doesn’t fit into the healing, equipping, or feeding (spiritually and physically) parts can be someone else’s job.
What reactions do you have to Tom’s comment?