A missionary encounter with the West will have to be, primarily, a ministry of the laity. The professionalization of the ordained ministry has an ancient history, going back to the early centuries of the Christian church. The Protestant Reformation rediscovered the office of the believer; however, in the main branches of the Reformation churches this remained largely theoretical. Only in the Radical Reformation did it really take root, but even the churches emanating from this branch of the Reformation have today largely professionalized the ordained ministry.
For our present theme the revitalization of the office of the believer is crucial, for two reasons: first, the church’s witness will be much more credible if it comes from those who do not belong to the guild of pastors; and second, only in this way will we begin to bring together what our culture has divided, the private and public, for the lay members of the church clearly belong to the public and secular world, whereas the pastors belong to the separate, “religious” world.
David J. Bosch in Believing in the Future: Toward a Missiology of Western Culture