No Christians want weak pastors at their congregations. Church members want a pastor who is a good speaker; a hard worker; a good manager; and someone who is kind, attentive, honest, and competent. But our desire for building a culture that produces strong pastors should not result in a culture of weak laypeople. The church’s vital mission needs strong lay leaders as much as it needs strong pastors.
God considers all believers to be his royal priests (see 1 Peter 2:9). But that’s not just an honorific title. He is serious enough about putting you to work that his Spirit has generously distributed important personal gifts among the laity to serve the body of Christ and the world as his followers and leaders. “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14).
Did you catch that? St. Paul wanted the lay Christians in the congregation in Rome to feel that he trusted their hearts and motives, that though always learning they still knew enough to get moving, and that they already had enough talent to be allowed to teach one another. Your pastors are not your bosses and overlords. They are your trainers and encouragers to help you develop your personal ministry for the Lord Jesus.
Don’t ever say, “I am just a layperson.”