Equip the Saints for works for service”…
The whole vicary thing is something I have been thinking about a lot recently, partly I guess as Sam is going through the same process as I went through about a decade ago (which makes me feel very old!)…
As you probably are aware I think that the role of a minister is to “equip the saints for works of service” as in other words it is you guys who are on the front line in your office, work, social, family environments, probably in a month meeting shed loads of people who don’t yet know Jesus… The question I think we need to ask is what can we (us weird vicary types) do to help and equip you to be more effective and fruitful in working out the ministry God has called you to within the place he has set you. This isn’t a rhetorical question, we really want to know?
I read an interesting article from a friend of mine, Kevin, who said he was told to be the Vicar of the parish and not a chaplain to a small bunch of old people left in the building; it is an interesting paradox that those inside the Church can easily take up all your time, and they feel that as ‘their vicar’ you are somehow ‘their staff’ -true we do serve them, but there is something about the number of ministers/vicars/pastors who come with a passion to see the world come to know Christ and end up mediating between the crisis of the flower rota or some such triviality. Bishop Nick was saying to Kevin, you’re job is to equip the saints for the works of service, but let us not forget that the Church actually is the only global institution which exists for its non members.
Perhaps this is another ‘tightrope’ we have to walk, where we need to be people who equip each other not just for ministry on a Sunday Morning, but a Monday morning too… (we’re all in full time Christian Ministry, I say that ‘your in full time Christian Ministry if you love Jesus and have a pulse!’)… I think too often our Churches have become places where people escape from the world, rather than places that equip us to impact and transform the world. Sometimes I think with some of these seminars and courses knocking around, that this actually keeps us from being out and about and sharing our lives with not yet believers.
Interesting stat is we in the west spend 75% more on Church growth stuff (course/books/conferences etc) than the developing world and yet interestingly where is there substantial Kingdom growth, in the developing world.
I think some questions need to be asked about why?