The Royal Priesthood
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood,
to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
1 Peter 2:9
This article challenges the reader to examine the Scripture on the following question: should there be just one pastor preaching every week -or- should preaching come from all men (as the Holy Spirit leads men to speak). Please consider the following Scripture:
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm,
hath a doctrine,
hath a tongue,
hath a revelation,
hath an interpretation.
Let all things be done unto edifying.
1 Corinthians 14:26
It was very clear in the purpose was that the church be edified by each one's individual contribution (1Corinthians 14:5,16). This is again demonstrated in Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus:
And he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints,
for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ:
God gave different gifts to different people that the church may be edified by the "manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10). One man does not possess all the various gifts of God. Therefore, one man cannot do the entire job of edifying the body of Christ. Paul again belabours the necessity of the body functioning together in 1 Corinthians 12:
For the body is not one member, but many.
If the whole body were an eye,
where were the hearing?
If the whole were hearing,
where were the smelling?
1 Corinthians 12:14,17
What is wrong with one man being in charge?
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes,
who loveth to have the preeminence among them,
receiveth us not.
3 John 9
Here is one example of one man, Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence, or loved to dominate the group. It is dangerous to have one person in charge of the entire church group. It leaves no room for checks and balances. Even the people who wrote the constitution patterned the system after the idea of a presbytary, or a group of men, who would together be in charge of the goverment. Peter's instructions to the elders of the church was to "Feed the flock" (1 Peter 5:2), but "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3).
What is the purpose of meeting together anyway?
And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another:
and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.
We must remember that the reason to come together and meet weekly is to (1) break bread (Acts 2:42), (2) prayer, (3) the apostle's doctrine, (4) encourage and exhort one another unto love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24-25), (5) to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Is it wrong to have one person preach?
No. It appears that from time to time, someone would come to the church in a particular region and take the floor. One notable example of this is Paul preaching to the church at Troas. They came together to break break on Sunday and "Paul preached unto them...until midnight" (Acts 20:7).
However, if one person is solely preaching every week, and there is no opportunity to encourage and exhort one another, or to hear from the others, then the body is not being edified in the way God has instructed. And "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7). We will reap what we sow. If we do not carefully follow the teachings from God's word, the church will suffer. Successful church growth can only come out of obedience to doing those things in the way which He has ordered (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 37:23, 1 Corinthians 14:40).
Our prayer is that you will consider what has been written, and that you will be a Berean and search the scriptures daily, whether it is so:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
in that they received the word with all readiness of mind,
and searched the scriptures daily,
whether those things were so.
Consider what I say;
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
2 Timothy 2:7