Recently In the night I kept hearing the term ‘Priesthood of all Believers.’ I have understood this as a biblical truth as far back as I can remember. Even though the idea is somewhat present, the term is not. However, in the night it became obvious that those who taught me that Christians were of the priesthood of all believers were the Priesthood of all Believers and were the ‘Professional Priesthood’ of the Temple where nothing is designed or intended for the priesthood of all believers but only for the professional priests. The only possible place for the Priesthood of all Believers is in the home, at the workplace, at school and other gatherings and social functions.
Then I started to see a picture unraveling as an explanation for the Priesthood of all Believers. If we might change the terminology from priest to shepherd perhaps this term could make more sense. We are all called to be shepherds. The shepherd model is expressed clearly in John 10:1-30. The Priesthood of all Believers has clearly become a religious phrase with Old Covenant smells and bells.
This is what I see as the shepherd model for all believers. First, we must shepherd ourselves. If we can’t shepherd our self we cannot shepherd others. Next, we shepherd our families. As couples we are shepherds to each other and to our children. Then we shepherd our extended families or we might shepherd a home group or parish. Then by gifting we may shepherd at larger and wider levels. This is called the Shepherds of all Believers.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus