The Salvation Army system and structure was born in almost complete rebellion against clericalism and the evil division of laity and clergy. In dreaming up the Army, the Founders (I include William, Catherine, Bramwell, Railton etc etc), created a system where every soldier was a missionary../Army Renewal
...I know that you will realise that the word laos, from which we get laity, simply refers to the people of God...all of us. When we go down the road of creating laity and clergy, we create a breed of super-Christians, professional Christians. Clergy is a bad word, a swear word...and actually, so is 'laity' when used by someone purporting to be 'clergy.'
Inspiring words from Andrew Clark at Army Renewal - I love it when someone speaks the words that I have struggled to articulate.
I get offended when people talk of Officers being "in full time ministry"... because... last time I checked... we are ALL in full time ministry! Its just that some of us "make tents" while reaching to our communities... while others get paid to reach their communities. The concept of "professional" Christians comes from a need to be separate... and that's not something I subscribe to.
I, as an officer, am not called to be the priest; I just am a priest by dint of being part of the Body of Christ. Officership is about something different - it's about fulfilling a certain role God has called me to that's quite separate from my status as a priest.Chris Hinton
My pal Chris follows this with his observation that "as an officer" he is fulfilling a role of leadership within the Corps. We need leaders... just as we need teachers and hospitable people. We need everyone... the laos... to play their part. As an officer... he is contributing to the whole... to the expression with his gifts/talents/passions/skill set. The key is contributing... he is doing his part... opening doors... supporting... making things happen.
Thank you, Andrew and Chris!