Thursday, 20 March 2014

Making The Church Tick

P T Forsyth, the great Congregationalist theologian, had a high view of ministry.  In his book “Lectures on the Church and the Sacraments”, originally published in 1916, he states: “The church will be what its ministry makes it.”  He goes on to say: “The ministry, therefore, has not to be directly effective on the world so much as to make a Church that is.” 

Making a similar point which he then links with Forsyth’s statement, David Peel, a former Moderator of the United Reformed Church's General Assembly, talks of being at a church conference with a URC group – “We arrived at the question: What are ministers for? And one sharp woman instantly exclaimed: “Ministers are here to make churches tick.  Not tick over, tick!”  She had grasped that ministers are called to the very distinctive work of making sure that the church becomes what it is called to be, namely, a sign, expression and foretaste of God’s reign of justice and love.”

Ultimately ministry belongs to us all - and we all called to exercise it.  However, we are called to different roles.  The challenge is not that any of us should do everything, but that we all should do something - that 'something' to which God is calling us.

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