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Editorial: The Active Participation Of All Believers
By : Craig Brown
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Richard Lawton and I have been having similar thoughts about 2020 and the church. Some would suggest that that's because we're left, and others because well, it's obvious...2020 presumes vision. It presumes participation leading to a commonly owned vision, rather than a vision instituted, owned and propagated by an elite few. To me, that sounds like a "secular" version of the priesthood of all believers, which means the active participation of all believers. I've always been excited that this belief is prominent in Churches of Christ. Why? Firstly, it reiterates the biblical view that all disciples have a ministry that is important to the body as a whole. Ministry is not the domain of a select few, but an outward expression of the presence of Christ in us all.

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Comments / Feedback
Harold Hayward
With great respect, Craig, this is rather contradictory. You say we need a widely owned vision or message but you see it as up to the role of leaders to create this vision ? Then you imply that governance structures are not important. But what if governance structures totally frustrate the participation required to mobilize support for a unifying vision? Im a little confused.

And where does doctrine fit in to all this? Are there not some New Testament principles which may constrain approaches to worship and governance?

Churches of Christ have always advocated liberty in non-essentials. Taken over the range of programs offered by churches, we had more diversity fifty years ago than we have today where conformity to cultural relativism, celebrity and guru-ism is the norm. The lay networks and educational programs to support genuine grass roots participation have largely disappeared.

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