Insiders and Outsiders
By Karen Miller
We spend most of our waking hours looking through the lenses in our eyes, but we rarely look at them. Similarly, we look at the world, the Scriptures, the church and each other through the lenses of our attitudes, but unfortunately we rarely examine our attitudes.
Not too long ago I heard one pastor refer to “insiders and outsiders (pastors and laymen).” The details are less important here than the attitude revealed in this telling little phrase. Here we get a glimpse of the pastor’s distorted view through the lenses of his attitudes.
I first experienced this when our church began to have cantors serve at traditional worship. At first the cantor stood at the lectern in a robe, leading the congregation in hymns and chanting an occasional psalm. In our church the praise team for our contemporary services sings from that same area. The acolyte wears an identical robe. How could anyone object?
But object they did. One family even used it to rationalize leaving the congregation for several years. Some people simply would not rest until the cantor was moved to the balcony and out of a robe. What could possibly have been at issue here?
The irrational answer to that question was that the objectors thought it might create confusion with the pastor, and (of course) we couldn’t risk that, no matter how clear their role in worship might be.
Now the notion that someone “might be confused with the pastor” is indeed a curious one, and the reasons why that should be such a serious problem are even more curious. However, the explanations can be found embedded squarely in those attitudinal lenses.
If a court reporter or a bailiff wore robes identical to those of the judge, do you think a single soul in that courtroom would have any doubt which person was the judge? Is it possible that, observing an officer with his soldiers, it would take more than a minute to identify which was which, despite the nearly identical uniforms? No? How then could anyone confuse the cantor with the pastor?
It would be nearly impossible for anyone truly to be confused, but even in the unlikely event that this were to occur, what actual harm would result? Would their salvation be forfeit, their soul lost? No doubt if someone addressed the robed court reporter as “Your Honor,” the matter would quickly be clarified. Where does the sense of urgency come from?
One possible answer can be found in the attitudes and mistaken notions we hang on to concerning the public ministry. A pastor is no more and no less than one called to exercise among us what properly belongs to all.1 There is nothing inherently different about a pastor from the rest of us.2 In addition, the pastor has no right, responsibility or authority that is not common to all believers and to the church.3 God has told us that, for the sake of good order, we are to elect some to exercise those common rights and responsibilities on behalf of all, but this does not take that responsibility and authority away from the congregation.4
Certainly, just as citizens should not assume for themselves the role of sheriff, neither should Christians interfere with or undermine the pastor, but just as the sheriff is different from any citizen only on account of his office, so the pastor is different from any believer only on account of his office.5
In the Scriptures we are told to select certain believers with a special aptitude for teaching or preaching to serve in the public ministry.6 Perhaps this is the reason for another comment I heard not too long ago: “Why would anyone want to go to a Bible study led by a layman when they could attend one led by a pastor?”
While there are easily a dozen good answers to this question, once again the details are far less significant than the obvious attitudes behind the question. What substantial differences could be expected between lay-led and pastor-led Bible studies? Likely the assumption here is that any pastor will be more qualified and have much more to offer than any lay leader.
Perhaps in the past, when the pastor was quite likely to be the best-read, most educated person in the congregation (save the occasional doctor or lawyer), this may have been a good assumption, but today it certainly is not. In the average congregation today we are likely to find a significant number of people in the congregation better educated than the pastor. Further, today with a minimum of time and expense anyone with a computer can tap into vast libraries of information in electronic form and with a simple search quickly pinpoint any topic in question.
Certainly the argument could be made that pastors have better background training, such as classes in Greek and Hebrew, but language references are also readily available to the average Christians in the U.S. How significant a factor is this likely to be overall?
Moreover, many lay Bible study leaders bring vast amounts of real-world wisdom and experience to the task – experience often not shared by pastor. How many of our pastors have graduated from Lutheran elementary schools, high schools, and colleges, only to attend a seminary where all too many professors have never had experience as a parish pastor? On the other hand, Luther said that properly distinguishing between Law and Gospel is an art taught only by the Holy Spirit in the school of experience – a school from which many lay leaders hold advanced degrees.
Further, while we select those with an aptitude to teach and make them pastors, sometimes they become teachers, deacons, DCEs or missionaries instead. Sometimes they are even called to professions outside of church work. We cannot, without knowing the specifics, know which of the two classes might be more interesting, better taught or more applicable to our situation. Here once again a critical examination of the attitude in question reveals it to be based on bad assumptions.
Pastors are human like each of us, not superhuman, so when my pastor asked me to lead the devotions at our annual church campout, I gladly agreed. It lay well within my skill set as a called Lutheran teacher, and I could offer our hard-working pastor a richly deserved break. When I mentioned this in one conversation, I found myself pummeled: “Why on earth would your pastor let you lead the devotions when he will be there. That’s his job!”
Once again the assumptions and attitudes behind the objection cry out for closer examination. Is there something inherent about a pastor that makes him (and only him) qualified to minister to others with God’s Word? Does ordination confer a special gift or rank that enables the pastor to do a better job than others? The Scriptures, Luther,7 the Confessions, Walther,8,9 and Pieper all deny this either by example or explicit teaching.
What about the notion that the pastor would be negligent to allow someone else to teach? This too is inconsistent with Scripture, the Confessions and the best of Lutheran theology. It is not the pastor’s job to perform every function in the church but to oversee them and to equip the saints to carry out the work of ministry.10 Every believer has the mandate to share their faith and to build each other up, and it’s the pastor’s job to ensure that they are able and even eager to do so when the opportunity arises. Just how great would the Great Commission be if it were limited to clergy?
Unfortunately, as with any body that is not permitted the exercise it needs, a pastor’s unnecessarily territorial attitude may allow the body of Christ in that place to atrophy, resulting in a congregation trained to respond as consumer-customers and a burned out pastor-provider. This is true pastoral negligence.
Despite the fact that lay participation in ministry is officially sanctioned, even encouraged by the Synod in convention (and consistent with our teaching), we still find many who view ministry of the Word or Sacrament in any form as the exclusive bailiwick of pastors. Whether it’s out of a belief that trained lay ministers (sometimes called “deacons”) cannot possibly be qualified, a territorial protectiveness, an unscrutinized elitism or mistaken beliefs about ordination,11 some pastors are the most vocal opponents of any form of lay ministry, as if they believe the keys were given only to the clergy.12
This is especially tragic when we realize how much more effective the pastor can be when supported by trained lay ministers. One gentleman from our armed forces shared with me how many pastors do not make adequate use of their “force multipliers.” Those borrowing language from the business world will often talk about “leveraging the time” of the pastor. However one chooses to phrase it, the idea is the same – a pastor’s trained teammates allow him to multiply his effectiveness many times over. To discard lay ministry in any substantial form is to despise the gifts the Holy Spirit has given and to cripple the body of Christ.
The most commonly cited objection to lay ministry comes from article fourteen of the Augsburg Confession, which the objectors interpret as dictating that only pastors can do any preaching or teaching of adults.13 However, the word “ordination” does not appear here – and for good reason. It is not ordination that makes one a public minister of the Gospel but the call, of which the ordination is merely the public recognition.14,15 We have many other called workers whose “regular” calls are formally recognized, only instead of describing that ceremony as an ordination, we call it “commissioning.”16
The office of preaching is the highest office in the church, but hardly the only one.17 Though the pastor leads, the burden of proof lies with those who would limit a congregation’s ability to call one of their own from among them.18 While the Confessions are clear that the office of preaching includes all other offices and functions as their supervisor, the call of lay ministers to serve, publicly recognized, is just as valid and just as “regular” as any pastor’s call.
When doing all the tasks in the church became too much, the disciples found an area of ministry (the distribution of food) to which they called those from among them particularly gifted for such ministry. Today we may not need people to distribute food, but the principle is the same. The church has an exclusive and God-given right and responsibility to find those whom God has equipped with various gifts, call them to use those gifts in the church and publicly acknowledge those calls.19
Further, just as the disciples didn’t feel the need to do all the ministry in the church themselves, so Luther20 and, citing him, both Walther and Pieper21make clear that the pastor can share his ministry.
How then do we uncloud our lenses and adopt an untainted view of ministry, consonant with Scripture and the confessions, that brings the best possible health and nurturing to God’s people? God never intends a pastor to be a one-man show but instead intends the pastor to lead a team ministry. That’s why the church is not merely the arm of Christ or the mouth of Christ, but the body of Christ. That’s why Paul almost never talks about the calling and gift to be a pastor in isolation, but instead he discusses it as one of many callings and gifts. That’s why we have so many examples of the earliest missionaries and apostles traveling in ministry teams.
Ministry teams allow the pastor to work most effectively. Insisting on doing a huge job by oneself invites failure, but a diverse team working together is more likely to accomplish all their goals and more. Further, Paul makes it clear that this is God’s intention for his church. It is indeed foolish for the eye to say to the foot, “I don’t need you,” but it is foolish precisely because of the key role the foot has in accomplishing the work of the body. Body parts that do no work, have no purpose, pursue no mission, engage in no ministry are truly not needed, but the body of Christ has no such parts. For a pastor to act as if he doesn’t need anyone else to participate in ministry and instead insist on being a one-man show is to cut the foot or the eye or the lungs out of the body of Christ. However, no part of the body of Christ can be safely removed. When we reduce everyone but the pastor to being a consumer, we paralyze and destroy the body of Christ.
To look at the church through the lenses of “insiders and outsiders” and to discount or disallow the gifts and ministry of all the baptized is to discourage and incapacitate those baptized believers and to cripple the church. The pastor’s job, on the other hand, is not to cripple the body of Christ but to equip it, not to try to do everything themselves, but to lead the body in doing them. Only then will the church be fulfilling God’s plan and intention, and only then will the body regain the health God intended for it.
1. The incumbents of the public ministry are correctly called the public servants among the Christians (ministrantes inter Christianos). The Word and Sacrament, in which they minister, are and remain the immediate property of the congregation, and merely the administration of them in the name of all is delegated to these certain persons by the congregation. In this sense Scripture calls the incumbents of the public ministry not only God’s or Christ’s ministers (1 Cor. 4:1; Titus 1:7; 2; Tim. 2:24; Luke 12:42), but also ministers, or servants, of the congregation. 2 Cor. 4:5: “And ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake [heautous de doulous hemon dia Iesoun]”. After saying that the appellation “priest” has been “taken over to the great harm of the Church” from the pagans or the Jews, Luther adds: “But according to the evangelical Scriptures it would be much better to call them ministers, deacons, bishops, stewards…. Paul also calls himself servum, that is, a servant; he also says more than once: ‘Servio in Evangelio,’ I serve [minister] in the Gospel. This he does by no means to set up a caste or an order, an authority or a special rank, as our Scholastics assume, but only to praise the office and work and to reserve the privilege and honor of the priesthood for the congregation” (St. L. X:1590f.). Walther: “The public ministry is not a special order, distinct from and holier than the common order of Christians, as the priesthood of the Levites was, but is an office of service” (Kirche u. Amt, p. 221, [Walther and the Church, p. 73]). In this sense, too, the Smalcald Articles say that “the Church is above the ministers” (Trigl. 507, Power and Primacy of Pope, 11). The Church and its ministers have the same relation to each other as employer and employee or owner and steward. – Pieper, F. Christian Dogmatics (electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
2. “There is also no essential difference between bishops, elders and priests on the one hand and laymen on the other, nothing to distinguish them from other Christians except that the one has a different office which is entrusted to him, namely, to preach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments; just as a mayor or judge is distinguished from other citizens by nothing except that the governing of the city is entrusted to him. The same persons who have introduced such sects among the Christian people and divided them into clergy and laity … have severed and cut to pieces the unity of the Christian people.” – Luther, M. Word and Sacrament II. Luther’s Works, vol. 36. J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald and H. T. Lehmann, eds. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999, c1959.
3. “Because we are all priests of equal standing, no one must push himself forward and take it upon himself, without our consent and election, to do that for which we all have equal authority. For no one dare take upon himself what is common to all without the authority and consent of the community.… But now the Romanists have inventedcharacteres indelebiles and say that a deposed priest is nevertheless something different from a mere layman. They hold the illusion that a priest can never be anything other than a priest, or ever become a layman. All this is just contrived talk, and human regulation. “It follows from this argument that there is no true, basic difference between laymen and priests, princes and bishops, between religious and secular, except for the sake of office and work, but not for the sake of status. They are all of the spiritual estate, all are truly priests, bishops, and popes. But they do not all have the same work to do. Just as all priests and monks do not have the same work. This is the teaching of St. Paul in Romans 12[:4–5] and I Corinthians 12[:12] and in I Peter 2[:9], as I have said above, namely, that we are all one body of Christ the Head, and all members one of another. Christ does not have two different bodies, one temporal, the other spiritual. There is but one Head and one body. “Therefore … those who are now called “spiritual,” that is, priests, bishops, or popes, are neither different from other Christians nor superior to them, except that they are charged with the administration of the word of God and the sacraments, which is their work and office.…” – Luther, M. “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate,” The Christian in Society I. Luther’s works, vol. 44. J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald and H. T. Lehmann, eds. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999, c1966.
4. “In 1 Cor. 3:4–8 Paul places ministers on an equality and teaches that the church is above the ministers.” – Tappert, T. G. “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.” The Book of Concord : The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2000, c1959.
5. Luther: “But all these things we have said only of the common rights and powers of all Christians. For since all Christians have all [spiritual] things in common, as we have always taught, it does not behoove anyone of his own accord to put himself forward and appropriate to himself what belongs to us all. Claim this right and use it, if there is no one else who has received this right. But it is demanded by the [common] right of the congregation that one, or as many as please the congregation, shall be chosen and received who, in the place and in the name of all those who have the same right, publicly administer these offices so that no destructive disorder might arise among God’s people and the church may not be changed into a Babylon, but in it all things should be done decently and in order, as the apostle teaches in 1 Cor. 14:40. There is a difference between administering a common right by the command of a congregation and using that right in an emergency. In a congregation in which everyone has the right, none should use that right without the will and appointment of the congregation. But in an emergency anyone may use it who so desires” (“How One Should Choose and Ordain Pastors,” letter to the council and congregation of the city of Prague, 1523, St. Louis edition, 10:1589)”. – Walther, C. Church and ministry: Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the question of the church and the ministry. Translation of Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt. Electronic ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1987, p. 162.
6. “Nevertheless, Scripture distinguishes sharply between the spiritual priesthood and the public ministry. For, besides a general ability to teach, which Scripture ascribes to every Christian, a special aptitude to teach is required; and, besides the call which the spiritual priests have to preach the Gospel, a special call is demanded.” – Pieper, F.Christian Dogmatics, Vol. III (electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
7. “Here we take our stand: There is no other Word of God than that which is given all Christians to proclaim. There is no other baptism than the one which any Christian can bestow. There is no other remembrance of the Lord’s Supper than that which any Christian can observe and which Christ has instituted. There is no other kind of sin than that which any Christian can bind or loose. There is no other sacrifice than of the body of every Christian. No one but a Christian can pray. No one but a Christian may judge of doctrine. These make the priestly and royal office.” – Luther, M. “Concerning the Ministry,” Church and Ministry II. Luther’s Works, vol. 40. J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald and H. T. Lehmann, eds. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999, c1958.
8. Zacharias Grapius: “The laymen are priests and apt to perform all ecclesiastical functions of the ministry by virtue of an inward ability. So also they can administer the Lord’s Supper. We must not think that a sacrament is a less valid sacrament when a layman administers it, moved perhaps by an emergency or an error” (Syst. noviss, controv. 4.89)” – Walther, C. Church and Ministry: Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the question of the church and the ministry. Translation of Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt. Electronic ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1987, p. 210.
9. Balduin: “Ordination is nothing else than a public and solemn confirmation of the legitimate call so that it might be clear to all that the person did not arrogate to himself the ecclesiastical office, nor that he, like thieves and murderers, crept into it anywhere else, but that he came in by the true door…. Ordination is not simply and absolutely necessary,… nor is it divinely commanded so that it might not be omitted. Nor is its effect as great as it is falsely made out to be in the papacy. Nor does the efficacy of the ministry depend on ordination as though without it the Gospel could not be taught profitably. But it is a church rite that commends the minister of the Word and reminds him of certain duties” (Tractatus de conscientiae, pp. 1032–33).” – Walther, C. Church and Ministry: Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the question of the church and the ministry. Translation of Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt. Electronic ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1987, p. 262.
10. “Luther often calls the public ministry the highest office in the Church. In what sense the ministry is the highest office he takes pains to explain.… If, now, the office of the Word in a Christian congregation is committed to a man, his office is to teach how all other offices in the congregation are to be administered.… Describing a bishop, who according to 1 Tim. 3:5 is to take care of the church [congregation] of God, Luther observes: “Now, these are the men who should supervise all offices, that the teachers tend to their office, are not negligent, that the deacons distribute the gifts fairly and are not remiss” (St. L. XII:338).” – Pieper, F. Christian Dogmatics (electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
11. “Astounding things are taught about ordination within visible Christendom. Rome asserts there is no other way of becoming a “priest” than through ordination received from a bishop created by the Pope. Those called and appointed merely by the Christian congregation are not servants of the Church, but are to be regarded as thieves and robbers (Trid., de Sacram. ord., Sess. 23, c. 4).… The Episcopalians, needless to say, omit the Pope; none the less they insist upon it that legitimate bishops, priests, and deacons, whose administration of the functions of the ministry is valid, can be made only by bishops of an uninterrupted Apostolic Succession ordaining them. Also Romanizing Lutherans, who refuse to concede that the call extended by a congregation makes a man a minister, but conceive of the ministry as a “distinct Christian order” which perpetuates itself by conferring the office on new members at their initiation, naturally declare ordination to be a divine ordinance.” – Pieper, F. Christian Dogmatics(electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
12. “In addition, it is necessary to acknowledge that the keys do not belong to the person of one particular individual but to the whole church, as is shown by many clear and powerful arguments, for after speaking of the keys in Matt. 18:19, Christ said, “If two or three of you agree on earth,” etc. Therefore, he bestows the keys especially and immediately on the church, and for the same reason the church especially possesses the right of vocation.” – Tappert, T. G. “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.” The Book of Concord : The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2000, c1959.
13. Pieper describes the approach of this group clearly, “[Muenchmeyer, Loehe, Kliefoth, etc.] taught a strongly Romanizing doctrine of the ministry, namely, that the office of the public ministry is not conferred by the call of the congregation as the original possessor of all spiritual power, but is a divine institution in the sense that it was transmitted immediately from the Apostles to their pupils, considered as a separate “ministerial order” or caste, and that this order perpetuates itself by means of the ordination. Some also spoke as if the means of grace exerted their full power and efficacy only when they were administered by men of this “order.” – Pieper, F. Christian Dogmatics. Vol. III (electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
14. “The most common custom of the church also bears witness to this, for there was a time when the people elected pastors and bishops. Afterwards a bishop, either of that church or of a neighboring church, was brought in to confirm the election with the laying on of hands; nor was ordination anything more than such confirmation.” – Tappert, T. G. “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.” The Book of Concord : The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2000, c1959.
15. Ordination to the ministry by the laying on of hands and prayers is not a divine ordinance, but a church custom or ceremony, for, although it is mentioned in Holy Writ, it is not commanded (1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6; Acts 6:6; 8:17). Hence it belongs to the adiaphorous practices. A candidate for the ministry becomes a pastor not by his ordination, but by his call and its acceptance. Familiar are the words of Luther: “The whole matter depends on whether the congregation and the bishop are in accord, that is, whether the congregation wishes to be taught by the bishop and the bishop is willing to teach the congregation. This willingness settles the matter. The laying on of hands blesses, ratifies, and witnesses this agreement as a notary public and witnesses testify to a secular matter and as a pastor in blessing groom and bride ratifies their marriage and testifies that they have previously taken one another and made this public.” (St. L. XVII:114.) – Pieper, F. Christian Dogmatics. Vol. III (electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
16. [Luther]: “I hope that all believers and those who desire to be called Christians well know that the spiritual state [the ministry] has been established and instituted by God.… But I do not mean the present spiritual state in cloisters and convents.… I mean the state that has the office of preaching and the ministry of the Word and sacraments. This imparts the Spirit and salvation, which no chanting or pomp can secure, such as that of pastors, teachers, readers, priests (as we call the chaplains), sacristans, school teachers, and whoever else belongs to such offices and personnel. This state Scripture indeed praises and extols very highly. (“A Sermon on Keeping Children in School,” 1530, St. Louis edition, 10:423–24)” – Walther, C. Church and Ministry: Witness of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on the question of the church and the ministry. Translation of Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt. Electronic ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1987, p. 180.
17. Ephesians 4:11 – “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
18. Who are the agents through whom God appoints the preachers?… Romanizing Lutherans hold that legitimate servants of the Church can be appointed only by a self-perpetuating “holy order of the ministry.” Scripture teaches that neither the Pope, nor the bishops, nor the clergy as an order, nor individual persons within or outside a congregation have the right and authority to confer the public office of the Word, but solely the people to whom is given all spiritual power on earth and to whom Word and Sacrament in particular have been entrusted originally; and these are the believers, or the Christians, and nobody else in the world.… This is the Scripture doctrine so clearly stated in the words of the Smalcald Articles: “For wherever the Church is, there is the authority [command] to administer the Gospel. Therefore it is necessary for the Church [“die Kirchen”] to retain the authority to call, elect, and ordain ministers. And this authority is a gift which properly is given to the Church [proprie—only to the Church and to no one else], which no human power can wrest from the Church …. Here belong the statements of Christ which testify that the keys have been given to the Church [German: “der ganzen Kirche”—to every Christian] and not merely to certain persons, Matt. 18:20: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name,’ etc.” (Trigl. 523, Power and Jurisdiction of Bishops, 67–69.) Individual persons and boards can indeed extend a valid call, but only when they are commissioned to do so by those whose the power originally (principaliter et immediate) is, or when these have, at least, given their silent consent. … – Pieper, F. Christian Dogmatics. Vol. III (electronic ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1950, c1951, c1953.
19. “Jerome therefore teaches that the distinction between the grades of bishop and presbyter (or pastor) is by human authority.… Consequently … the churches retain the right to ordain for themselves. For wherever the church exists, the right to administer the Gospel also exists. Wherefore it is necessary for the church to retain the right of calling, electing, and ordaining ministers. This right is a gift given exclusively to the church, and no human authority can take it away from the church. It is as Paul testifies to the Ephesians when he says, “When he ascended on high he gave gifts to men” (Eph. 4:8, 11, 12). He enumerates pastors and teachers among the gifts belonging exclusively to the church, and he adds that they are given for the work of ministry and for building up the body of Christ. Where the true church is, therefore, the right of electing and ordaining ministers must of necessity also be. So in an emergency even a layman absolves and becomes the minister and pastor of another.” – Tappert, T. G. “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.” The Book of Concord : The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2000, c1959.
20. “Therefore, whoever has the office of preaching imposed on him has the highest office in Christendom imposed on him. Afterward he may also baptize, celebrate mass, and exercise all pastoral care; or, if he does not wish to do so, he may confine himself to preaching and leave baptizing and other lower offices to others—as Christ and all the apostles did, Acts 4 [6:4].” – Luther, M. Church and Ministry I. Luther’s Works, vol. 39. J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald and H. T. Lehmann, eds. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999, c1970.
21. In Christian Dogmatics (“The Public Ministry,” Section 10, “The Ministry the Highest Office in the Church”) Pieper cites Luther and in a footnote references Walther,Church and Ministry, who cites the same passage.