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.
And the last faulty assumption that I would bring up is that people learn by hearing and not by speaking or sharing. If the majority of believers are sitting in pews or chairs during the gathering of the church, and if the focal point of the entire service is the teaching by the pastor then it makes sense to assume that this is how we understand believers grow (or at least a primary means of growth). Well, I think it is safe to say that this isn’t really working that well. Is listening to another person teach really the only way a believer grows? Isn’t it possible that we grow by exercising our gifts and fulfilling our calling as followers of Christ? Our calling is not to passivity. We are called to edify one another, to teach one another, to exhort one another, to encourage one another. Maybe, if people had the opportunity to fulfill these callings as followers of Christ they may grow even more than they do by listening to a sermon by someone else.