|Illustration by Judith Clingan|
“It is the clergy system and the institutional structure that inhibits the rediscovery of face-to-face community, supplants the functional Headship of Christ, and stifles the full ministry of every believer. Consequently, all attempts at renewal will always be shortsighted until the clergy system and institutional structure is dismantled in a local fellowship.”— Frank Viola, ReImagining Church, p. 268.
"We are all shaped by our experience. When we think about “church,” we conceive it in ways that approximate our experience. When we think about “preaching,” we conceive it in accordance with our experience of preaching. When we think about the Lord’s supper, our minds are filled with images from our experience. We think about pews in a church building, multiple-cup trays, (perhaps even “one cup” for some), unleavened bread in the form of crackers, a man officiating from the pulpit, men standing behind a symbolic table with their arms formally crossed at the waist aligned in a meticulous order, silent meditation, and focused attention on the death of Christ. But what was the practice of the Lord’s supper like in the first century?"