What is Ministry?
More and more people are in ministry today, so what exactly is ministry? How do we do ministry, and why? Ministry is closely tied to who we believe our God is, and who we are in relationship to God.
There has been an enormous renewal in how the term “ministry” has been understood since Vatican II. Before this time, ministry was considered the work of ordained clergy - not even the services provided by vowed men and women in religious orders were called ministry!
Today, the word “ministry” is used to describe any service that a person provides in the name and expression of the Christian community. Grounded in the gifts of the grace of the Holy Spirit, ministry in the life and experience of the church is a much larger reality than the ministry of the ordained clergy. It consists of a broad spectrum of services that have come into existence over the centuries.
This spectrum continues to expand as new forms of service for the nourishment and leadership of the church continues to emerge under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is to be expected as the needs of our church community grow and as new challenges in the world demand new ways of providing service to those to who long to hear the liberating news of the gospel. This point was powerfully articulated by the Second Vatican Council:
Ministry is a public service grounded in the gospel and performed on behalf of the Christian community for the promotion of the reign of God.
Ministry has its foundation in
The love of God,
The love of self,
And the love of neighbour.
It is always other-centered.
Self-centeredness has no place in ministry.
To really love and minister as image of God results in “ love-centered” ministry. If we are ministering in Jesus’ name, love must be the core of everything we are and do.
The theological Richard McBrien explains how important this point is:
If love is the soul of Christian existence, it must be at the heart of every other Christian virtue. Thus, for example;
Justice without love is legalism;
Faith without love is ideology;
Hope without love is self-centeredness;
Forgiveness without love is self-abasement;
Fortitude without love is recklessness;
Generosity without love is extravagance;
Care without love is mere duty
Fidelity without love is servitude
Every virtue is an expression of love (1 Cor 13).
Through these ministries you will learn and grow as an individual, meet
others who share your values, and reach out to those who need hope.
Through these avenues we can minister to one and another and also reach
out to the needy and bring the hope of the risen Christ to all people. I
have included a list of ministries below. I believe there's something
for everyone here, but if you feel there's something missing, please
Ministry for the Word
Ministry for Liturgy
Junior Altar Servers
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for Mass
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for Hospital, Nursing Homes, Home Visits
Senior Servers (Acolytes)
Collection of Monetary Gifts
Preparation of Sunday and special occasion liturgies
Ministry for Music
Ministry for Hospitality
Altar Linen Society
Ministry of Finance
Ministry for Youth
Ministry for Young Adults
Ministry for Seniors
Ministry for Catechists
Ministry for Loss and Bereavement
Ministry for Sacramental Programme
Ministry for Marriage
Ministry for Prayer
Christian Meditation Group
Charismatic Prayer Group
Ministry for Adult Education and RCIA
Ministry for Children's Liturgy
St Vincent de Paul
Ministry of Social Justice
Ministry for Evangelisation
Ministry to those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.
The mission of our Church is to be a visible
sign of God’s loving salvation. We belong to a community that is
charged with this mission, so how do we participate in it? We know what
salvation looks like, so how do we allow others both inside and outside
of our community to experience it? How can you be a sacrament of
salvation to those around you? Perhaps through something as simple as a
listening ear, perhaps by participating in one of the many ministries
our parish offers, perhaps through the gift of your time, your skills or