When lockdown was seen to be inevitable back in March the pastors at the church I regularly attend met together to figure out how we stayed in touch with each other as a church. There was a recognition among the leadership team that the Head pastors would have a lot on their plate with the difficulties and changes that lockdown would undoubtedly bring.
It was, however, viewed as vital that the community of the church be maintained even though meeting together was impossible. Somewhere in the discussion someone realised tha virtually everyone in the congregation had a good connection with someone else. The church body had fulfilled that part of its role. Everyone was connected somewhere. Not everyone was connected directly to the leadership but they knew, if the need was great, that the leadership were aware of them and would contact them if necessary.
Mostly though we had our little groups and huddles, checking on each other, making sure people were staying safe, providing a safety line for those with health and mental health concerns. We pulled together like the early church. We recognised that, as a priesthood of all believers we had a responsibility to each other. To be honest, I valued more a check-in text from another member of the congregation who had similar depression and anxiety issues to me than a call from the lead pastor.
We were learning what “priesthood of all believers” meant in a practical way. A text or a call from the guy who sat at the back of services and struggled with much of what he heard, had no more and no less value than the same from the pastor. In the body of the church we were all equal in the eyes of the Lord.
Not everyone was happy. Some put a greater value on contact from “leadership” but in doing so they missed out on what was key to the early church. The community, the realisation that we’re all in this boat together and we can’t look to one human being, we must work together.
Last week I had a meeting with our pastor. I learned just how busy they have been over the last four months. I discovered that leadership is like an iceberg. There is so much that happens that you don’t see and would likely never know about unless it didn’t happen. I also learnt how valuable to them it is that they have a congregation that looks after each other.
It is a real blessing to be part of a priesthood of all believers. It keeps you connected to the reality of the church and stops it being something you just do on a Sunday.
Be blessed as you go about your day.
Be blessed for all you do as the body of the church.
Be blessed for all you do as part of the priesthood of all believers.