MORE ABOUT MINISTRY TEAMS
My dear friends in Christ,
In the last newsletter, I began to elaborate on the Ministry Team model for parish organization that I originally pitched to you all at our Annual Meeting in January. Over the next few newsletter columns, I will continue to expand on the basic concept. Hopefully, what will come out will offer a clear and at least somewhat coherent proposal for helping our parish to thrive and grow into the future.
In this column, I share with you the overall outline I have in mind for a network of ministry teams at All Saints, along with some explanation of how we might want to organize and prioritize the various teams according to the types of ministries involved. In future columns, I will offer more details about each individual team, including Vision and Mission statements for each team.
But first, one additional bit of explanation about what I’m envisioning these ministry teams will be and how they ought to function:
The members of any given ministry team will not necessarily be the same people who are called to perform the duties of the ministry in question. Rather, the ministry team exists to make sure that a particular ministry of the church gets done. Sometimes, that might mean the members of the team do some of that work; other times, the team’s job will be to bring specific ministerial or pastoral needs to the priest’s attention; and in other cases, the ministry team may be responsible for recruiting volunteers from the parish (or experts from the larger community outside the parish) to handle a particular task or help with a particular project. The ministry team is about oversight, management, and coordination; the team is not meant to bear the entire burden for performing its assigned ministry all by itself.
A Proposed Outline of Ministry Teams at All Saints Episcopal Church
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.” (2 Cor. 13:14)
I suggest we organize our parish’s ministry teams according to the types of ministries these teams will oversee. First priority are our Gospel imperatives ~ those ministries which, as a parish in God’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, we must make central to our lives, as they are the very reasons for our existence as a faith community. These are our Principal Ministries. In order to be able to maintain those ministries on an ongoing basis, however, we must also provide for a number of supporting ministries ~ I am calling these our Administrative and Organizational Ministries. In addition to creating a support network for our Principal Ministries, we need also to provide ongoing support for one another as individuals and as a parish family. I propose we think of these as our Christian Life Ministries. Here is the arrangement I am proposing:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ …
Principal Ministries ~ To Preach, Teach, Heal, and Make Disciples
Please note that each of these Principal Ministries corresponds directly to each of the four imperatives from the Prayer for Spiritual Growth that we prayed at our Annual Meeting: WORSHIP ~ preaching; CHRISTIAN FORMATION ~ teaching; PASTORAL CARE ~ healing; and MISSIONS ~ making disciples. These are the big ones, folks. The “must haves” for any group that would call itself a “church.” These ministries aren’t just good ideas or things to aspire towards; these are the things we have to do because they are rooted in our identity as Christians and baked into our baptismal covenant.
… and the love of God …
Administrative & Organizational Ministries ~ For the Good of the Order
Vision & Planning
Finance & Resources
All Saints Tech Crew
While it would be a bit of a stretch to characterize these ministries as “Gospel imperatives,” a quick glance at the names of these teams makes it apparent that if we don’t provide for these ministries, then we will not be capable of doing the big four Principal Ministries. If we don’t plan a coherent vision for the parish, if we don’t practice stewardship and diligent custody of the resources God gives us, if we have no reliable way to communicate with each other or the outside world, and ~ especially in this day and age ~ we don’t master and maintain our technology, then we cannot reliably preach, teach, heal, or make disciples.
… and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, …
Christian Life Ministries ~ That We Might Have Life and Have it More Abundantly
Parish Life & Fellowship
Hospitality, Welcome, & Newcomers
Discernment & Vocation
Jesus tells us in the Gospel that he came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. These ministries have as their purpose the creation and nurturing of a flourishing, abundant life together, both within our parish, and for our parish as part and parcel of the larger community around us. In the same way that the Administrative and Organizational Ministries are absolutely essential to the healthy functioning of the Principal Ministries, these Christian Life Ministries are absolutely essential to the healthy functioning of both individuals and interrelationships within our church family. As such, they are particularly important as we look to growing and expanding our church family ~ the most powerful tool in the evangelism toolkit is a vibrant, life-giving, engaged church community. These ministries are essential to fostering such a community, one that people will want to belong to.
That’s it for this installment, folks. As always, please let me know your thoughts, questions, concerns, and ideas about this approach to parish ministry ~ I want to hear from you!
More to come in the next column…
Peace & blessings,
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