He’s posted a first draft of his theology of ministry, which is probably something that more pastors should do, or at least reflect on. I don’t agree with all of it, but it’s interesting reading, especially if you’re somewhat unfamiliar with the Quaker tradition. It begins:
At the core of my understanding of ministry are three affirmations.
- Ministry arises in individuals in the context of community for the sake of helping people enter the Kingdom of God.
- All people – of every age, sex, and orientation – are called to ministry and some are called to a greater degree than others.
- The gifts of the ministry are not the minister’s but God’s, stewarded by the minister while they rest with his or her person.Inherent to this view of ministry is an understanding that the Priesthood of all Believers is an actual work of Grace from God such that the notion of “the laity” has been abolished. All are called to the ministry and are ordained by virtue of their baptism into service for God to the whole of the world. Those of us who serve more intentionally or regularly are merely called to that task more directly, there is nothing more granted to those who serve in the ministry than that service and the opportunity to more faithfully labor under the yoke of Christ. That being said, I do affirm that “some have a more particular call to the work of the ministry and that therefore… are especially equipped for that work by the Lord. [And that our] work is to instruct, exhort, admonish, oversee, and watch over our brethren more frequently and more particularly than the others” (Barclay 215).
Read the rest: A Sketch of a Theology of Ministry | The Image of Fish.