from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:15-16)
Edification or building up of the saints does not come from only one source or office, such as the elders, or a preacher. Edification comes from all who are active in the body of Christ. We must all speak the truth in love, and every one has a connection to others in the body that comprises a “joint” that supplies some good thing. This may come in the form of words which comfort, or admonish, or teach, or counsel. This goes on and on.
Here let us focus on the particular work of teaching and preaching. This is not a closed work. Every brother should be free to consider their own potential and be given opportunity and encouragement to exercise that potential. For example, our brother Joe might have some words to share. Perhaps it is a sermon, a short talk, or some word of “exhortation”. In our Lord’s Body, he is free to do this very thing. He will not be prohibited on the basis of his social standing, education, or credentials. The criterion is to speak the truth in love.
Consider Timothy, the evangelist, who was as a son to the Apostle Paul. How did he get started in this? Here was a young man who had a faithful mother and grandmother. The Bible says “He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.” (Acts 16:2) We can only surmise how this came to be. He was “well spoken of”. Surely this could not be a reference to his appearance, the degree of wealth he may have had, or his level of education. It must have had something to do with his handling the Word of God in the midst of these congregations. He did not emerge from some Rabbinical school or school of preaching.
The church meeting at ninth and Krauss, endeavors to uphold this work of members edifying one another.