Christians believe in the Trinity: God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three Persons relating to each other in unity and perfect love. Our life and ministry together in the church must reflect the life of God. We are most fully ourselves when we are in relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In our baptism each of us is called to discipleship and ministry. To be a disciple is to become more Christ-like; to minister is to serve the Kingdom of God. Ministry happens at home, in work and in our places of leisure as well as in the many activities that make up church life. This ministry belongs to the whole people of God, every one of whom has a God-given part to play within the body of Christ (see 1 Cor 12). But it also raises some important questions:
How can the local church both recognise and release the gifts of her people?
How can we best provide support, direction and oversight of people's different ministries?
Are there other areas of congregational life where ministry tasks can and should be shared?
Now ministry can be exercised by church members when the parish priest delegates each and every task - but that is not collaboration! Ministry which reflects the life of God in Trinity and our baptism is released when we work together to address problems, discern vision and release the gifts of God's people. As Abraham Lincoln noted long ago, people support what they helped to create. We are all more motivated if we share in discerning the vision and have a stake in the ministry that arises from it.
This is a big vision but not an easy one. It asks a lot of both priest and people. A Shared Ministry Team can help a local church take some first, important steps in realising this vision. So read our web page, Shared Ministry Teams
to find out how a Team could serve and enhance the ministry of your church.