The podcast is here: Conversation of Faith I: Professionalism in the Body of Christ
Alan discusses it here
Aaron discusses it here
What I find most challenging to the prevalent paradigm is this concept of “Church as vehicle of transformation for those who are in it.” If we are in our life together the outworking of God’s plan to save the world (and I am convinced that we are; find my statements of ecclesiology here), then we must first order our own house: how will live together?
God’s transformation of our lives happens in the context of relationship: the relationship each of us have with each other, in him. Professionalism does indeed mean a “professional distance,” and I am unconvinced that this way of relating is good for Christian people. If a pastor’s role is to lead and guide a community, why is the pastor very often the one member of a community who is expected to come in, stay aloof from the entanglements of the poor pathetic laity, and then leave again when “called elsewhere”?
I don’t think presbyters are very often “called elsewhere,” at least not legitimately.
Can leadership happen by “finding solidarity rather than ruling by power,” as Aaron asks? I think that it must. We must be Christians together, before we can be anything else. Let the Holy Spirit give gifts according to the needs of the community, and let those members be appointed to offices according to their gifts. Alan expresses concern that in the commonly accepted paradigm
We’re … taking away real spiritual development in people. I think to cultivate real spiritual formation in peoples lives is much more about facilitating this being together for a long time, and experiencing God’s presence and his life together for a long time. This is not at all the idea of the church that we have, generally speaking.I could talk on that last bit for quite some time, but not today.
This idea that we’re a part of the body of Christ from the beginning, that we’ll keep on going as long as it goes, and we don’t have to get everything done right now. We have to be the Body of Christ. That is what we have to be, and being that is what you gotta get done. Because being that is doing everything that needs to be done.
Go listen to it.