Henry, lurking behind the curtain here is something that needs to be brought onto stage center–the role of “professional clergy” (of which I am one). We act too often out of job preservation when what is needed is modeling the servant. If a congregation adopts the spirit you recommend here, hierarchal divisions will disappear, and inclusion will prevail. “Professional” clergy will then be unnecessary; servant clergy (equippers) will be in high demand. But that day is far from us. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is preparing the church for renaissance by making it harder and harder for churches to support the pros, forcing them to forego the “hired guns” and look within.

This is not to demean all clergy, for there are many who resist the forces that would make them servants of the institution instead of the people. But in our Fake News and Alternate Truths environment, authenticity is seldom noticed, and rarely rewarded.