Who opens and closes with prayer?
Who does the preaching?
Who performs marriages?
Who speaks at funerals?
Who dedicates babies?
Who makes big decisions?
Who leads almost everything?
Within most institutional churches professional pastors lead in just about every way. This appears to be a sort of co-dependant relationship between the people and the pastor. Both parties expect it. He will be at the forefront of just about everything.
The pastor may or may not like this relationship. Frankly, he may very well be exhausted by it. Nevertheless, this is part of what he is paid to do. Therefore, he must lead at just about every occasion that the church gets together. This includes both special occasions and normal ones. The pastor doesn't get a break, and the people don't get an opportunity.
Many members of the church have never led in any way, shape, or form. Part of this is because they have never been given the opportunity. Part of it is because they expect the pastor to do it. And part of it comes from never having been asked to consider it. Since the pastor leads everything, he inadvertently (or purposefully) takes opportunities away from the rest of the church family.
Professional pastors should resign today from their positions because they are keeping the remainder of the church body from exercising leadership in their areas of gifting. This stifles the life of the church and keeps it from maturing.
(This post is part nine in the series 25 Reasons Professional Pastors Should Resign.)