I realize that some may be coming into the middle of this ongoing series of posts I have been doing on clergy and laity. Some have have varying degrees of knowledge of how blogs works as well. I am building toward some things with these posts and if you want to catch up on where we have been I would invite you to click on the "Klaos" link under the categories section or click here for an index. The September 16 post is really the first in this discussion.
Also, two books that have had a major impact on my thinking are:
The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective, by R. Paul Stevens.
Unfinished Business: Returning the Ministry to the People of God, by Greg Ogden.
Stevens' book is on the academic side, and requires some work to fully process parts of what is saying but it is well worth the read. I think it is one the most important books I have read. So many of the loose pieces and vague doubts about church structures and my vocation came into sharp focus when I read this book a few years ago.
Ogden's book is geared toward pastor's and leaders but has application for every believer. He tends to get closer to practical ministry application than Steven's and fleshes out some important concepts like equipping.
Tom Gillespie, former President of Princeton Seminary, wrote an article 25 years ago called The Laity in Biblical Perspective which I would also recommend. I got permission from him last month to post a unpublished article he wrote on "Ministerial Orders in the Reformed Tradition." I have just begun to OCR it and it is a long one.