I’ve decided to start a new category under my Theology section called “Thoughts on Church Ministry”. If I could add a subtext, it would be “Reflections of a Lay Minister”. Just to clarify that last word, a lay minister refers to any Christian minister who has not been ordained. That is, every Christian who is actively engaged in the work of Christ but is not a pastor or missionary. This basically includes everyone the Bible describes as Christians but whom people do not generally address with the title ‘Pastor’, ‘Bishop’, ‘Reverend’ or any other clerical title of your choosing.
Having looked back over my previous categories, I realised that the majority of my posts under my various series had a more general vibe running through it – that is, they were in some way linked to my reflections on the church and church ministry in general. I seldom think about theology outside the context of the church. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that my thoughts move too quickly from myself to the church. I reckon this habit derives partly from the fact that I dread introspection as I hate to see what lies beneath my surface (definitely bad), and partly from the fact that I’ve been unusually active as a leading voice in ministry at my church from a young age (perhaps unwisely young).
Regardless, a week doesn’t go by when I’m not thinking about this topic. I feel that I need to commit these reflections and thoughts to writing here for two reasons. First, I hope to start productive conversations with my few (I think I’m up to 2!) faithful readers on ministry work. Second, I hope to flesh out these thoughts more fully, so that my thinking stops covering similar ground but can advance in fresh ways and from different angles.
This is mainly for my personal reference, but the topics I reckon I’ll cover include (but are not limited to): singing, preaching, teaching, serving, the nature of church ministry, ministry structure, ministry nitty-gritty, church membership, pressing concerns and red flags, bright spots and encouraging observations.
Let’s get started.