When I wrote "Scriptural exegesis can really only be performed by individuals in a ministerial role -- anyone else lacks the context to really understand how the scriptures should apply to our lives." in Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, I had misremembered Hall's comments and inadvertently combined two points. He didn't claim that the fathers believed that you must be a practicing minister to be a successful exegete, but that you needed to be a practicing Christian and that their ministerial role added a dimension of practicality to their understanding of the scriptures. Neither of these ideas is new. In them, I hear echoes from conference talks and lesson manuals.
Developing a love of the scriptures should be more than an act of Christian duty, is should be a Christian activity (as opposed to an academic exercise). The scriptures were written under the influenceof the Holy Ghost and are more effectively read under the same influence. Prayer, pondering, keeping the commandments, and living up to the covenants we've entered into keep us attuned to the voice of the Spirit and will help open our minds to the scriptures.
Serving in a ministerial capacity helps focus our attention in scripture study on those practical matters pertaining to our stewardship. Our service provides a laboratory for working out the real world application of the lessons we learn. The insights that we gain as we pray, ponder, and study the scriptures, while seeking the Lord's help in our callings, will cast new light on the scriptures. (I see this as one of the blessings of magnifying a calling.)