Giving Each Other the Word
Here are some quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Life Together" (pgs 105-109) that I found compelling enough to type out for you in full - on the Ministry of the Word in the Christian community.
"The basis on which Christians can speak to one another is that each knows the other as a sinner, who, with all his human dignity, is lonely and lost if he is not given help.... We speak to one another on the basis of the help we both need.... Do we really think there is a single person in this world who does not need either encouragement or admonition?
"This is the point where the limitations of all human action toward our brother become apparent: 'None of them can by any means redeem his brother...' (Ps 49:7). This renunciation of our own ability is precisely the prerequisite and the sanction for the redeeming help that only the Word of God can give to the brother."
"The desire we so often hear expressed today for 'episcopal figures,' 'priestly men,' 'authoritative personalities' springs frequently enough from a spiritually sick need for the admiration of men, for the establishment of visible human authority, because the genuine authority of service appears to be so unimpressive.... This hankering for false authority has at its root a desire to re-establish some sort of immediacy... in the Church.... The Church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and the brethren."
"The question of trust, which is so closely related to that of authority, is determined by the faithfulness with which a man serves Jesus Christ, never by the extraordinary talents which he possesses. Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own., who himself is a brother among brothers submitted to the authority of the Word."