“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ” – 1 Corinthians 12:12
Last year I told my Bishop that I hope I never perform a baptism at the church I pastor. He looked at me a bit strange. Since I didn’t elaborate, he asked me if I knew that baptism was one of the ordinances of the church. I said I did, but I repeated that I sincerely hope I never did a baptism at my church. He said, “Okayyyyyy, I’ll bite.”
I said this to my Bishop after discovering that one of the greatest joys I’ve had as a pastor have been the times I’ve not ministered. I may be the pastor of the church, but I also know I’m not the only minister in God’s Church or in the local church where I pastor.
When I read this passage in 1 Corinthians 12:12, it makes me wonder why, in most churches, the pastor is the one who does most of the ministry and has all the key roles. The former pastor of my church was there for almost three decades, and his son was still at the church when I arrived. One day I said to this pastor’s son that one of the things I hope I never do is baptize. Again, that look. I said, “Why should the pastor have the privilege of baptizing people who were invited to church and, in many cases, discipled by others? I think the person who is most influential in the salvation of a new believer should have the privilege of baptizing them. Furthermore, why is it the pastor is the only one who gets to baptize his own kids? Why shouldn’t every parent have that joy?”
At this point the pastor’s son looked at me and, with a bit of envy in his voice said, “I would have loved to have baptized my kids.” I knew then I was on to something. So, last summer when a young girl asked to be baptized, I sat down with her and her mother and explained baptism. I also gave the young girl permission to have anyone she wants to baptize her. She chose her mom and her aunt. It was then I had the honor of standing aside while others did the ministry. When I explained this to my Bishop, he finally concluded I wasn’t a complete heretic. Continue Reading