This is my final installment of my church newsletter series “What Does Your Church Believe?”
This is the fifth and final installment of my “What Does Your Church Believe?” series. So far I have looked at the importance of open communion to DOC theology, the notion of freedom of belief, the belief in the oneness of the church and the understanding of baptism in the DOC. Today we will look at Disciples of Christ’s understanding of ministry and how it is extended to all.
The Disciples of Christ is unique in many different ways but for me one of the best aspects of the denomination is how ministry is done by everyone; this is known as the “ministry of all believers.” This idea comes from the notion that all are unified in Christ and through that mutual understanding we are all able to ministry to others.
Just because I am an ordained minister does not mean that I have all of the resources, gifts, talents and tools to provide effective ministry to all members of the body of Christ. Yes I have been to seminary and have a theological degree but there are some things that God has not gifted me with.
In a Disciples of Christ congregation all are called to be stewards of the word and ministers in word and deed. In our denomination, ordained and lay persons alike can serve at the table, serve communion, proclaim the word and minister to those sick and hurting. Some might say that this is against what the Bible is calling for the church to be. However, this is not how I understand the nature of God and the calling of a follower of Christ to be. In the Bible we find many places where the scripture writers are calling on all of the followers of Christ to be become one and utilize their gifts and talents for the common good of the church and the world.
Ministry today is too complex to be left to one person or a group of carefully selected people. Why would God create someone with certain abilities just to have people in the church leadership say that they were not good enough for God? Ministry is not about seminary, it is not about power, it not about standing in front a group of people, it is about faithful expressions of praise, care, love and worship.
Let us empower all of the followers of Christ to use their gifts for the glory of God.