– The Rev. Brandon B. Peete
“The model of today’s church is clergy-led, lay-supported. We must flip the model and become a church that is lay-led, clergy-supported.” – Andy Doyle
Clergy are expected to engage the lectionary from week and week and listen to the movement of the Holy Spirit. God willing, this discipline results in a fruitful response to the appointed Scriptures. The same expectation is often placed on clergy to develop and present a lesson each Sunday during formation hour. The same goes for Bible Studies, prayers and devotionals. This clergy-centered model tends to short-change the gathered community by not actively engaging them in the discipline of preparation. What might happen if the expectations were a shared discipline?
With the use of online polling and private discussion boards, parishioners collectively wonder and engage with Scripture, prayers, collects, images, quotes, and one another. The community may begin to help shape homilies, the prayers of the people, confession, weekly collects, and even Sunday morning formation classes. As a result, the role of clergy becomes one of supporting the shared discipline of spiritual and liturgical formation.
“The Ingathered Community” model also provides evangelism opportunities through social media, helping to invite participation beyond the parish campus.
How might you change your model of expectations of clergy and lay roles? How might you gather your community differently!
You shall keep the festival of booths for seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing-floor and your wine press. Rejoice during your festival, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, as well as the Levites, the strangers, the orphans, and the widows resident in your towns. For seven days you shall keep the festival to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose; for the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all your undertakings, and you shall surely celebrate. – Deuteronomy 16:13-15