Conversations about ministry – suggestions and ideas
The work commissioned by the 2014 Conference revealed a hunger in many local churches for opportunities to talk about ministry – and particularly the ways in which people share in the mission and ministry of the Church in their ‘Monday to Saturday’ lives. Local churches, circuits and districts are encouraged to make space for these conversations, and for reflection on ministry through worship, through small groups and through pastoral conversations. The following are just a few suggestions for how this might happen:
Materials for a series of bible studies on the theme of ministry are currently under development – watch this space!
What ministries and vocations are remembered in the public prayers in the life of your church? It can be easy to remember ‘teachers, doctors and nurses,’ for instance, and miss out the many ways in which members of the congregation express their faith through other jobs. How might your church affirm such ministries in prayer?
Small groups might decide to spend three or four consecutive meetings reflecting on the theme of ministry. Facilitated discussions could include: an exploration of patterns of ministry in the Bible (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry from p. 17 para. 7), conversations about the key features of the changed and changing context in which we exercise ministry today (Ministry in the Methodist Church report to the 2018 Conference Section 3 of Part B) and an opportunity for members of the group to talk about their ‘Monday to Saturday’ lives and how the Church might better resource them to share in ministry.
The local church is the primary place for the celebration, exploration and encouragement of the variety of ways in which Christians engage in witness and service in response to God’s call. What ministries (inside and outside the church) does your church currently recognise and celebrate (eg through an annual commissioning service)? Who is currently missed out, and how might their ministries be publicly affirmed in the life of the church?
As part of the work commissioned by the 2014 Conference, open conversations were organised at local churches, where people were invited to get together (eg on a Saturday morning) for coffee and cake and conversation about ministry. Such conversations could use as a basis the questions for reflection here.
- This Time Tomorrow: Some churches include a ‘This Time Tomorrow’ slot in Sunday services, in which a member of the congregation is invited to share briefly what they will be doing at the same time on Monday, and how their faith shapes their life.