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This weeks lesson explores the idea that every follower of Jesus is also a minister. While I suspect many would agree with this concept in theory, I also suspect that most of us are not quite ready to accept this in practice. Am I being too pessimistic?

  1. In the New Testament, a “minister” is never a title for a special, clergy-like office. Instead, the word translated as “minister” derives from a word for service, specifically service at the table. In modern language, then, a minister is much like one who serves as a waiter or waitress. This connection can be seen in Jesus’ words in Luke 22:27. Jesus, the apostles, as well as a variety of other men and women are either called ministers or are described as being engaged in ministry.
    1. Why is it that “ministry” has taken on the connotation of a church leaderrather than a servant?
    2. What are the similarities between a waiter/waitress and a minister?
    3. Are all forms of ministry (once again, we should remember that “ministry” means “service”!) of equal value?
  2. The central Bible passage for this week’s lesson is 1 Peter 2:9. In this passage, Peter tells his audience that they are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
    1. What is the difference between being a priest and a minister?
    2. Who is included in Peter’s statement? Is it true that all believers are priests? What sort of restrictions are we tempted to place on Peter’s statement? Are there racial restrictions? Age restrictions? Gender restrictions? Educational restrictions? Or is it really the case that all are priests?
    3. It appears in this passage that priests have the task of proclamation. In what ways were Old Testament priests “proclaiming” the praises and goodness of God?
  3. According to Jesus in Luke 10:2, the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. How much of this is due to unwillingness on the part of potential laborers? How much of this is because of ignorance? How much of this is because of limitations put in place of other laborers?
  4. If there truly is a shortage of laborers, does God step in to make up for our lack? Are people lost because of our unfaithfulness? Why does he need us to labor, anyway? Is he dependent upon us, or can he bring in the harvest without us?

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