Celebrating all God's people - Revd Mat Ineson

First published 12th July 2018

Revd Mat Ineson, Vicar at St Mary's Stoke Bishop, on equipping the people of God to minister to the world.

The beginning of July was special for Bristol Diocese. We celebrated ordinations to the offices of Deacon, Priest and Bishop. Its exciting to see people committing themselves to the service of Christ in influential roles in His church. In the midst of that joy it would be all too easy to slip into mistaken thinking that ordained ministers are the only church minsters. Doing that would mean falling into a mission limiting trap, badly misunderstanding Christs call to all believers to be church ministers in the world.

The ordination services are necessarily focussed on ordained ministers. However, they are also clear that the role of ordained ministers is to equip the people of God so that they can be servants (ministers) of Christ in the world. Ordained ministers are called to work alongside, be examples, pray for, shepherd, teach and serve. We who are ordained are not called to do all the ministry of the church. That is for every believer as we are scattered into the world through the week in workplaces, colleges, schools, clubs, pubs and friendship groups.

I was reminded a couple of days ago that in Lukes gospel (chapters 8 and 9) it wasnt until Jesus sent his followers out to be his ministers in the world that they truly recognised who he was. In Acts, Jesus followers learn their discipleship as they go out and minister in the world. We all learn to follow Jesus, to be disciples, as we serve.

So perhaps, as well as ordinations, we should have an annual service of celebration for the whole people of God and our collective ministry in the world. 

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