Haines: the priesthood of all believers
Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
—1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV)
It is obvious ... that there are many lay people who can counsel more effectively than the minister can in such areas as adjusting to widowhood, coming to terms with advancing age, bringing principle to bear upon business decisions, because they have experience in these fields which the minister does not personally have. At the very least, they can add a note of reality to what the minister offers.
In many cases, the group takes up where the individual counseling left off, supplementing it or even eliminating it entirely. I have been repeatedly thankful that a group was available to give steady guidance to a person who had made a fresh start in Christian living, but who still had a long way to go. This has been especially true in cases of loneliness, moderate emotional instability, inability to understand others, and need of continued guidance in the use of prayer and the Bible and the accepting and giving of love. In the nature of the case no amount of individual counseling can fully deal with these needs. The “priesthood of all believers” becomes a realized fact, with each person helping to open up for his neighbor the way to God.
... Howard B. Haines (d. 2000), “Fellowship Groups: ‘Intercessory Love’”, in Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, John L. Casteel, ed., NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 132-133 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, show me the work You are calling me to do today.
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