Ministry of All the Baptized
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This curriculum is designed for a four-session series of about an hour per session. It can also be delivered as two, 2-hour sessions or as a 4-hour, half-day retreat. It grew out of Bishop Singh’s vision that all members of the Diocese—both lay and ordained—discover their spiritual gifts, discern where their gifts can grow into ministry, and actively pursue ministry as an integral part of a life lived with Christ. At Baptism, each new Christian is gifted with grace and forgiveness. We are called to respond to this gift with a life of prayer, study, worship and service that participates actively in Christ’s work of healing, reconciliation and transformation.
This exploration focuses specifically on the ministry of the laity. As the most numerous members of the Diocese, the laity has tremendous power to be Gods eyes, ears, hands, voice and heart in the world. With an eye toward building up the ministry of the laity, this exploration has two goals: First to enliven lay ministry within the diocese, and second to move lay ministry from a center within the church, to a primary focus in the world.
Each session has five parts: Gathering→Exploring→Concluding→Preparing→Closing.
Session 1: How are we called to ministry?
Participants are asked to explore the notion of ministry. For many lay people, ministry is the job of ordained members of the Church. Lay people may “help out”, “volunteer” or otherwise participate, but this is somehow different from the work of ordained people. The first session explores the definition of ministry and highlights that Scripture is clear that ministry is for all members of the Family of God.
Session 2: What gifts has God given us for ministry?
Provides a vehicle for participants to begin identifying the gifts each has been given for ministry. It uses a gifts inventory that focuses on 20 spiritual gifts that are described in Scripture. These are certainly not the only gifts for ministry and each has many subtle shades. However, the inventory will stimulate thinking, discussion and further exploration.
Session 3: Where are we ministering today?
Asks where we are currently ministering. It begins by exploring the Episcopal call to ministry in the Baptismal Covenant and the focus of lay ministry in the World as outlined in our Catechism. Both of these uniquely Episcopal perspectives focus us out of ourselves, out of the Church and toward the World. The lesson goes on to charge participants to consider those things they do that they see as ministry.
Session 4: What changes when you see your life as ministry?
Challenges participants to re-envision ministry. Ministry is not just another item to add to our long list of things-to-do. Rather, it is a spiritual discipline and way of life that can transform even the most mundane tasks into works of reconciliation and transformation when they are done in the name of Christ.