Assumptions on Participation: Professional Pastor

What if he's a heretic?

If everyone participates in the gatherings of the church then how do we avoid people teaching heresy? That seems to be a common question posed to me about every member participation. It is a good question, and it makes sense. The problem is that I believe it is based on some faulty assumptions. I will discuss these over the next few days.

The first faulty assumption is that the pastor is a professional. If you were to go to a data architecture seminar you would want professional data architects to be doing the teaching. You would want someone who has education and experience in data architecture teaching you how to improve your data models and structures. If I were to get up at one of these conferences with my minimal education and experience I wouldn’t have anything very helpful to say and it would be very likely that I would say some things that were flat out wrong. It makes sense that when you view the gathering of the church this way you would want a professional (pastor) to do the teaching. He has usually had the education and the experience and has spent more time learning the truths of the faith. Is this the way that we should view the gathering of the church and the role of a pastor? Probably not. Scripture clearly teaches that the church should minister to each other when they gather and the role of a pastor is to care for people, not to be the “go to” professional on issues of the Bible and faith. As Christians we are all equipped with the Holy Spirit, we all have access to the Father through the intersession of the Son, so there are no professionals, we are all equally submitted to God and equally equipped by him to minister to each other.


About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

4 responses to “Assumptions on Participation: Professional Pastor

  • Marshall

    The members of His body are each adequately equipped by Him to minister to each other — and much more.

  • Dan Allen


    I agree completely!


  • Bob

    Professional clergy will not keep us from heresy. Most of the cults we have today were started by professionals!
    Jesus, the twelve and all the other workers in the NT were never ordained, never went to seminary and had no titles in front of their names. Paul had formal training, but said it was nothing but dung compared to the excellence of Christ. I think education is a wonderful thing and can be very helpful, but it’s not what qualifies us to speak the oracles of God.
    Love above knowledge, faith above religion and Christ above all.

  • Dan Allen


    I think the most important thing is that we don’t look at seminary degrees like law school degrees. They do not qualify someone as a professional Christian. When we someone who continually exemplifies the love of Christ whether that person has a degree or was a high school drop out, we should consider looking at their example as they look to Christ’s example. Always appreciate your thoughts!


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