Thursday, September 9, 2010


Will someone blog something interesting?

Here's something I'm thinking about. The word ministry. It's vague. 'Doing ministry'. What does that mean anyway? What would we lose if we lost the word ministry from our vocabularies?


  1. Have you been reading Stuart's latest posts on exactly that?

    You'll be thrilled to know I registered today.

  2. I like the ambiguity of it.

    It describes the general vibe of the activity. It doesn't create unhelpful distinctions between what was formerly termed 'clergy' and 'laity'. I like when people talk of ministry vs Ministry. It's the same thing, but more of it. So it justifies using a capital letter.

    What about the word worship?

  3. I thought you could stand a little boredom...
    You could always post a comment on gender/origins/education/music if you want some excitement?

    If the word 'ministry' disappeared we'd probably be spared the confusion between gospel motivated service and the particular exercise of skills/giftings that facilitate the leading and instruction of the church.
    We'd probably invest whatever other collective noun we settle on with a similar meaning.

    What books have caught your attention lately?

  4. Books? What are they?

    Izaac - I hate hearing people talking about all the 'ministry' they're doing - paid or unpaid. The most godly people I know don't talk about the stuff they do at all. They just do it. When I spend time with them, they don't put a big 'ministry' tag on it. We just chat and I come away better for it because she is a godly person. There are people out there who count the number of 'ministry' hours they put in each week. What a w***!

    All of our lives are to be lived in service of others. I think a vibe term like 'ministry' is unhelpful for that.

  5. What a witness?????? Oh, I get it.

    Alright, I'll post something interesting, but you have to comment ;-)

  6. My blog has a not very interesting post about ducks on it.

    I will think about the ministry thing while I do some cooking for the school fete. No time to be bored here...

  7. I agree Simone. The word is unhelpful. Makes some people feel good and others feel bad. Allows us to divide our time up into 'doing ministry' and 'not doing ministry', which is kind-of like saying, being a Christian and not being one. Whereas we're to be 'being' Christians all the time. I don't think I making sense. Been a big day.

  8. Thanks for clarifying that Anthony. I thought for a minute there Simone might have been saying a rude word...

    My thoughts on the ministry thing. It's confusing (and therefore perhaps unhelpful) because it has two definitions:
    Ministry = sharing the Gospel
    Ministry = doing stuff specifically related to church
    The second definition suggests that there are specific times/places/events at which ministry takes place, while the first suggests it should be happening all the time, rather than people "clocking on" (by which I then assume they count hours of participation) at the particular time/place/event.

    So I agree with you, which is probably a bit boring. You need someone to come in and stick up for ministry.

  9. I like the word ministry. I think it's Biblical and we should be focusing on getting back to the Biblical idea, not throwing away the word because of what Christian culture has done with it.

    I'm also happy with using it as a descriptor for vocational ministry. Because our paid workers should be ministering to us. They're not the only ones. They should also be modelling what ministry looks like for us.

    Discussions like this are a slippery slope to vacuous "creative" titles for what ministers do.

  10. If we were playing a word association game and somebody said "ministry" and I had to give a one word answer I would say "service" - do you want to change the job title to "gospel servant" - I could handle that, but I think it's what the title "minister" already means.

  11. All we need for this conversation to really take off is for Mark to disagree with me. But he's been quiet for a little while now.

  12. Nathan, you are wrong.
    What we need is Ben to come back and post something...

    I miss the little fella :(