"The only boy who could ever reach me was the son of a preacher man." These words were first sung by Dusty Springfield and recorded in 1968 on her album "Dusty in Memphis." The song invokes a romantic relationship,but the words are representative of many people's understanding of religious hierarchy. That is to say that many people look exclusively to preachers, priests, and clergy for their spiritual growth. But is this really what God intends?
The history of spiritual leadership throughout the bible evidences the great blessings that can come through spiritual leadership. However spiritual leadership can and should come in different forms and capacities. This is perhaps exampled by the advice given to Moses by his father-in-law Jethro. After witnessing how Moses micromanaged all of Israel's problems Jethro counseled Moses to create a hierarchy among the people to distribute the leadership. The hierarchy reflected their circle of influence.
Moses along with the newly appointed leaders did not limit their work to "secular" administration. They invoked the Spirit of God as they worked with the people. Each one us is a spiritual leader in our circle. Title and position are not prescribed by our place in the church hierarchy. As sons and daughters of God each one us can testify to God's goodness and witness to our fellow man. Ministry can flow through our fingers as we reach out and touch others.
God is not a respecter of preacher men. He desires that each one of us works to build up the body of Christ, for we were all saved by the life-giving blood of Jesus.