Ministry of all believers

The Bible makes clear that all Christians are called to minister (that is “serve”). We are called to love God and to love our neighbours. We are called to be active in our praying and our worship, not just sitting back and letting others get on with it. We are called to support God’s work, both by being involved and in our financial giving – what the Old Testament calls “tithing”.

The vicar and PCC should be encouraging church members to be active in worship, through the reading of lessons, being a sidesperson/welcomer, assisting at communion, leading the intercessions, singing in a choir or music group, helping provide tea and coffee. Some have time and abilities to offer as Church Wardens, Treasurer or Church Secretary.  Some have a ministry of visiting the elderly, sick or housebound.

Most importantly, we all have a 24/7 ministry wherever we are of living for God, making God known, what the New Testament calls “witness”. The Epistle of Peter puts it like this: “ If asked, always be ready to give a good account of the hope that is within you” (1 Peter 3: 15) 99% of Christians have a call to ministry and work out their ministry without being ordained or licensed. For most of us, more than 90% of our waking lives are spent outside the church building.

However, some are called by God to particular ministries. In the Church of England authorised/licensed ministries have a two-fold focus. First such ministers are authorised to lead public worship and to preach and teach in churches and other places. Second, they are recognisably ministers of the Church, people from whom others can expect certain behaviour, skills and character. This wider understanding of ministry is somewhat less easy to define.