I don’t think it’s on purpose, but there’re too many churches that claim to uphold the priesthood of all believers in theory, yet in practice cling to the a cathedral model of church that protects centralized leadership structures. Most of the time leaders don’t recognize their posture defies their words.

The irony here: protecting power structures is contributing to the disintegration of the church in North America. This solution is a different kind of disintegration: it’s the loss of power. When leadership development and discipleship are core attributes in a church, and they are producing results, the inevitable outcome is the decentralization of power away from the executive.

When leaders rely less on centralized power it becomes more difficult to control outcomes and identity. Conversely, community identity begins to shape itself within the context of an overarching dream that includes excited participants engaging the unfolding Kingdom of God.

The former will keep the sheep in the pen. The latter feeds a dream that releases every member of a community to find and use their unique gifts for the glory of God rather than lying dormant and watching professionals week-in and week-out.