We Need Each Other
Last year, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Many view the Reformation as a return to New Testament Christianity. Most of us have heard of the five solas of the Reformation: Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone), Solus Christus (by Christ alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Gratia (by grace alone), and Sola Fide (by faith alone). These five powerful proclamations well summarize the Reformation—indeed the teaching of the New Testament. However, other key teachings were championed as well. One of them was the priesthood of all believers.
The Reformers had a full-bodied view of the role and ministry of all believers, not just the “clergy” or those in full-time ministry, but for the “laity” or “common” believer as well. This core teaching, the priesthood and ministry of all believers, is based upon a number of biblical passages. For example, in 1 Peter 2:5 we note: “you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” In Revelation 1:6, we read, “and [Christ] has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father. …” The Reformers saw a robust role for all believers in the life of the church.
I believe that this teaching of the priesthood—or the ministry role of all Christians—is always relevant to us at Northpoint, but is particularly poignant at this time. That is, we are of course in a transition phase with some of the pastoral positions at our fellowship. Yet, there is still much ministry that needs to be done and needs to be continued, twenty-four seven, 365. The Lord’s work still needs to be fulfilled. In other words, while we greatly value our full-time pastoral staff and workers, they cannot and biblically speaking never were intended or designed to do all the work of ministry, to meet all the needs of everyone. By His grace and equipping, God has called all of us together to do this.
Together, individually and collectively as the body of Christ, we are called and equipped to serve each other (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 12:12-28; Gal. 6:2). We need each other. Everyone is vital to the life and health of Northpoint. Each and every one of us is gifted by God and necessary to our fellowship as you use your gifts for the benefit of others. Indeed, “From him [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:16). Elsewhere, Paul states, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).
In other words, we can and should carry on with “body life” ministry, ministering to one another and to the Corona community and beyond as we always have—whether we have a complete full-time staff in place or not. In doing this we fulfill Scripture (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 12).
So, I see this season as a great time of opportunity to fully rely on God for the well-being of our fellowship and to minister to one another, exercising the gifts and calling that God has graciously given to us, individually and collectively as the body of Christ and the priesthood of believers. Yes, we should pray and otherwise prepare for the new pastoral staff that will join us in the future. But, right now let’s fulfill the ministry that our faithful Father has for us.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Craig is a Northpoint member who teaches our Living the Truth Sunday school class during second service in Heritage Hall. He is also the Visiting Scholar, Center For Human Rights, at Trinity Law School.