Professional ministers and their work as church leaders have dominated church and pastoral ministry studies. Lay ministry studies have been neglected. In the local church, lay ministries are often defined solely by their voluntary service in the local church, and even then are regarded as secondary to the work of the professional minister(s) leading the local church. This study proposes that the word "minister" should be applied to all believers and that professional ministers and their ministries should serve the larger group doing ministry: the laity. Lay ministry should not be understood only as that service done in the local church, but should be understood as a call received and obeyed by the laity to "do the work of ministry" in their work places and their neighborhoods, as well as their local churches. Following Amos Yong's theology of disability and the formation of the L'Arche communities found throughout the world, this God's Empowered People will show how the local church can welcome all in Christ's name into a community of the Spirit in which people are loved and respected for who they are. From such a welcoming, loving, and respectful community can come people of varying abilities who discover their special gifts of ministry, then take their gifts into the work world, market place, and neighborhoods to "do the work of ministry" in Christ's name. They will be able to go places and do things no professional minister could go or do, yet still need the professional minister to help prepare them to "do the work of ministry." Thus, professional and lay ministries are not competitive but complementary. In such a community of professional and lay ministries operating cooperatively, all have the opportunity to express wisely their gifts in their arenas of calling and influence.
|Author||Steven M. Fettke|
|Publisher||Wipf and Stock Publishers|
|Rating||4/5 (62 users)|