I must admit I have been in circles when it comes to ecclesiology. I have seen non-hierarchical communities that were deeply authoritarian and non-authoritarian communities that were deeply hierarchical. I have been part of consensus communities that collapsed when key creative personalities have moved on and supposedly led communities that have operated by consensus.
The models that we have inherited strike me as a mess. 'Priesthood of believers' and 'Priesthood of the professional' (with whatever theological underpinning) both speak of individuals, and yet both the Old and New Testaments seem to see 'Priesthood' as a corporate category. Yet many of us are in 'ministry' and recognize the places of 'leadership', 'facilitation' and 'representation' within the faith community, in the wider community and in the pub. It it was not so we wouldn't have speakers, authors, the 'high priests' of emergent.
How do we then continue the story of ministry within the Anglican tradition, and move from me / them, to us? What is it to be a Priestly People? Can we garner anything from the New Testament or do we need to see it as dynamic contextualization that should be imitated in form rather than content?