In my posting, "He Keeps Me Singing" (below) the comment section has discussion about lay people presiding at communion and then also discusses lay people or non-ordained people preaching. There are good reasons to both allow and not allow lay people to do the "official" things in church.
Pastor Eric says, "I understand the requirement of ordained clergy presiding over Holy Communion is to ensure good order, but a lay people can do far more damage preaching and no one says anything about that. As long as the Gospel is preached, go for it. Clergy have no special power."
I would like to suggest several things, or at least throw them out for discussion.
First, if the "power" of the communion is in the bread and wine, ie the body and blood, then it shouldn't matter who is presiding. The pastor may be a big hypocrit and sinner, unrepentant, but would be "ordained." The mouth that speaks the words or the hand that holds the bread doesn't hinder the Christ. I certainly understand that the Church has order to keep, however.
I was criticized on another Lutheran (of another stripe) blog because I said that I helped with communion at my church occassionally. Hey, I wasn't even presiding or saying a word. I was holding the tray! Where would we draw the line if the person was so important? Likewise, would we have to figure out who washed the communion ware????
Secondly, on the preaching. I'm sure there are "some" lay people who do a better job preaching than some "pastors." And there truly are some sermons that are memorable for years. But for the most part, people aren't going to remember what was said all that much.
Thirdly, I would suggest that the biggest influence that the lay people would have, positive or negative, in a church, is in their hospitality. How do they present themselves, and by extension, the Body of Christ, to anyone who comes through the door? And this applies to the weekdays as well as to Sunday Morning. Are they welcoming and helpful? Do they show any interest at all that someone is there?
About 25 years ago, our family attended a Lutheran Church in St. Paul that was across the street from the motel where we were staying. It was a nice church, nice formal liturgical service, stunning organ music, etc. No one greeted us. I greeted people as we left the pew. No one returned the greeting. We shook hands with the pastor, saying we were visitors. He didn't say anything welcoming. We took our daughter to the Sunday School so we could attend the adult forum. The Sunday School teacher wasn't welcoming at all. We were not greeted in any way in the Adult Fourm, even though we told people we were visitors. We talked with another pastor on the way out who also didn't greet us in any way.
This taught me a lot. As much as I like liturgy and formality, and also music done really well, I'll trade that for friendliness and "spirit" and a real give and take any day.