Whenever we hear this question posed most of us automatically think of the clergy. Too often we see “ministry” as the domain of those professionals who are “full time in the ministry.” The reality is that each of us is called to be a minister in the church by virtue of our baptism, which is actually the “ordination of the laity.” Our baptism is our call to Christian ministry.
The Biblical concept of ministry has a very simple definition. “Ministry” is from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning “to serve.” It means: “The act of serving someone; the act of providing care or help.” This act of service or providing care can be expressed in many different ways at the Church of St. Paul in the Desert, from singing in the choir or serving as an acolyte to ushering or running the sound system. It might involve hosting guests from “Well in the Desert” who come to St. Paul’s for a hot meal, sending cards to shut-ins, or simply making a phone call to someone you notice has been absent from church for awhile to let them know they are missed.
All of God’s people have gifts for ministry — which is the work of all the faithful. The Catechism in The Book of Common Prayer says “the ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.”
The question to consider is “Which gifts do I have, and how will I use them?”
There is also a unique emphasis that God has placed on your life. As you develop that emphasis, you will find your own special niche in the Body of Christ.
If you are interested in discovering your own sense of call to ministry or exploring some of the many ways you might use your gifts for ministry at St. Paul’s, call me at (760) 320-7488, ext. 224 to schedule an appointment.
Br. Michael-Gregory Norrie, C.T.G.