Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ministry Belongs to God

In considering “what is ministry” and “who is a minister” we must begin with the fundamental premise that ministry belongs to God.  Ministry is part of the mission of God. The church and ministry exist to serve God’s mission of redeeming … Continue reading

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What is ministry? Who is a minister?

The questions “what is ministry?” and “who is a minister?” are central to any discussion of a more inclusive paradigm of ministry.  These questions were very much on my mind as I began to research the nature and scope of lay staff … Continue reading

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Recommendations for Strengthening the Ministry of Lay Staff

My research on the nature and scope of lay staff ministry suggests that church members increasingly look to lay staff for the type of leadership, counsel, instruction, and spiritual direction once provided exclusively by clergy. Tens of thousands of lay staff … Continue reading

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Why a more inclusive paradigm of ministry benefits all

It is commonly assumed that the major beneficiaries of a more inclusive paradigm of ministry are laity who enjoy greater freedom and affirmation as servants of God.  This notion rests on the assumption that clergy are the winners and laity … Continue reading

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Christ is the head of the church

Words Matter III:  Christ is the head of the church Continuing with this series of posts examining the language of church leadership, I now raise the issue of the proper biblical framework for the term “head.”  Sometimes, pastors, priests, bishops, or popes are … Continue reading

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Reexamining Ministry Titles

Words Matter II: Why Use Secular Titles for Sacred Work? In the course of my research, I studied the staff listings of about 400 congregations.  In the vast majority of churches studied it was very easy — indeed painfully easy … Continue reading

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The People of God aren’t sheep

Words Matter I:  The mix messages inherent in using the term “pastor” for clergy When I was a child, the only term I knew for the clergy in my church was “minister.”  Later on, the idea that “all God’s people … Continue reading

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