Funny things happen to us whenever we try to organize ourselves. I guess it is just in the way we are made. Even cows do it. When they start back from the field at milking time they follow a regular path, and I’m told they line up in order. And chickens must do it do, otherwise where does the expression
pecking order come from?
And so it is with churches. We all have our pecking order, but sometimes the whole thing gets out of hand. We say we love order, and we put together hierarchies with pecking orders from archbishop to bishop to priest to minister to deacon.
There is even an effort to find these hierarchies in the Bible—or rather to name them after biblical terms. The fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is a case in point.